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Woman who assaulted staff and customers and knocked over shop displays jailed for five months

Prosecution outlined that the defendant had just confronted her ex-partner and new girlfriend when the incident happened

A woman who assaulted staff and customers after knocking over stock displays has been sentenced to five months in prison.

Court heard how the 23-year-old had bitten one of the members of staff leaving them with bite marks which were photographed.

Nadine Cowley, from Hill Street in Gilford, pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm, two counts of disorderly behaviour and four counts of common assault at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court, sitting in Lisburn, on Friday via videolink from Hydebank.

Prosecution outlined that the defendant had just confronted her ex-partner and new girlfriend in the Spar shop of Bridge Street filling station on December 10, of last year, when the incident occurred.

When police arrived Cowley was being restrained on the ground by staff and she was shouting and screaming at police when they approached, kicking out and attempting to bite them.

The incident in the shop had been captured on CCTV which showed how Cowley knocking over shop displays, assaulting various members of staff and public who tried to intervene.

One member of staff, the court heard, was bitten on the arm leaving a bite mark that was  photographed and the prosecution described how other victims had been punched with one woman being put into a headlock.

Cowley was eventually restrained and arrested before being taken to custody but a forensic medical officer advised that she should go to hospital.

Whilst at Craigavon Area Hospital, the defendant “struggled with officers” and refused to be seen by a medical practitioner.

Interviewed when she had sobered up, Cowley said she had taken a significant amount of diazepam and pregabalin and had no memory of the incident.

Defence barrister Aaron Thompson said Cowley’s “appalling behaviour” has stemmed from an episode of “poor mental health” at the time but that since her remand into custody three months ago, her medication had been altered and she’s a “lot more balanced”.

He said Cowley had “let herself go down a very dark, miserable path” and that when she is released, she “needs to make an exit strategy” to get her life back in order.

Imposing a five month prison sentence, District Judge Rosie Watters commented: “I do wish the defendant well and hope that she can get on with her life.”

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