Ely woman who kicked, bit and spat at Cambridgeshire police and ambulance staff 10 times is jailed
A woman who assaulted police and ambulance service staff 10 times on consecutive days has been jailed for two years.
Sarah Smith, 27, who has a history of assault, punched, kicked, bit and spat at those who were trying to help her, Cambridge Crown Court heard.
Smith, of Morley Drive, Ely, pleaded guilty to 10 counts of assaulting an emergency worker – eight police officers, a member of police staff and an ambulance service worker.
Chief Constable Nick Dean said: “Police officers and staff are regularly subjected to violence and threats which too often result in injury. While the severity of such attacks change, the impact upon society does not. It is never acceptable to assume that assaults upon police officers and staff should be tolerated, it is not simply ‘part of the job’.”
Police were called out to her home on April 2 to assist paramedics after she became violent and abusive. As they attempted to restrain her and transport her to hospital, Smith kicked, bit and spat at officers.
When her handcuffs were removed in hospital, she punched one officer in the head and bit another.
Police were called to Smith’s address the next day at the request of probation officers.
Smith had been released from prison just five days before, having served a 24-week sentence for assaulting hospital staff and a police officer in autumn 2019.
She spat at officers and an ambulance service worker multiple times and attempted to bite them.
Smith was arrested for assaulting emergency workers, but while in custody at Parkside Police Station she spat at a detention officer.
Sentencing Smith, Judge Cooper acknowledged the “enormous debt of gratitude owed to all emergency workers who are prepared to put themselves in danger”, commending each of the individual officers in the case for their conduct and noting the “evident care and restraint with which they had managed this very difficult and disturbed defendant”.
The chief constable added: “The public call upon the police to help them when they are most in need. We have a duty to protect the public, but we are all too often prevented from doing so due to violent individuals who choose to attack those who are there to help them.
“Most importantly it should be remembered that police officers and staff are people, they are fathers, mothers, sons and daughters. When they are attacked they become victims just like any other, but victims who have been attacked while trying to protect others from being victimised.
“At this particular time, when the nation faces a public health crisis we need to rely on our frontline officers to support our NHS colleagues in keeping people safe more than ever. They cannot do this if they are injured and sick.
“The potential anxiety and stress caused by incidents such as this cannot be underestimated. This is a serious concern, not only for the officers and their colleagues but their immediate family.”
More by this authorPaul Brackley