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‘Extremely erratic’ woman left police officer needing stitches following assault

'Whilst your life undoubtedly has been very very difficult, what I have to do is protect police officers and make sure their life isn't made difficult when they're at work'

Armagh Courthouse

A Gilford woman who left a police officer needing stitches following an assault has been handed a suspended prison sentence.

Nadine Cowley, of Hill Street, appeared before Armagh Magistrates’ Court, sitting at Newry Courthouse on Tuesday (January 24).

The 26-year-old was charged with four counts of assault on police, resisting police, disorderly behaviour and assault on a police designated person.

The charges relate to an incident which occurred on July 3 last year.

The court was told police were tasked to an incident in Gilford, of which the defendant was the reporting person.

During the course of events, the defendant was in the street and was “extremely erratic” and holding a half-bottle of vodka.

She became abusive and aggressive towards police and despite several directions to return to her property, she became disorderly and had to be restrained on the ground.

As she was being restrained, she attempted to bite a constable’s leg. When police attempted to bring her to her feet she tensed up and pulled another constable’s hair, violently pulling her to the ground.

The constable subsequently required four stitches to her wrist.

She continued to scream and swear in a public place. When she was arrested she banged her head on the wall of the cell van and spat on the glass.

A defence lawyer for Cowley told the court she offered “genuine remorse” and apologised for her actions to the police.

He added that she had received a suspended sentence at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court for offences that post-dated these offences.

District Judge Anne Marshall commented: “These are every serious matters, very serious indeed. You’re very lucky you’re not charged on a more serious assault offence in relation to the police officer who had to go to hospital.”

She added: “I can see some of the background. Whilst your life undoubtedly has been very very difficult, what I have to do is protect police officers and make sure their life isn’t made difficult when they’re at work.

“It seems to me that you’ve been staying away from drugs for a while and it seems that you’ve made the link yourself between your offending and your drinking, so it needs to stop.”

Judge Marshall imposed a five month sentence, suspended for two years.

Follow all the latest court news here.

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