Leamington woman spared prison despite spitting blood into the eye of a paramedic and assaulting three police officers
Pc Caroline Dudley, who was also spat at, said: "Spitting in the current climate is the worst possible assault”
A young woman spat blood into the eye of a paramedic who had been trying to help her after she had suffered a fit and was taken to hospital.
But despite her behaviour, during which Demi Day also assaulted three police officers, she has escaped being jailed.
Day (22) of Canberra Mews, Leamington, pleaded guilty to two charges of assault by beating of emergency workers and two of common assault on emergency workers.
A judge said that ‘all things being equal,’ he would have jailed her – but instead gave her a six-month sentence suspended for 18 months, with a rehabilitation activity.
Tim Sapwell, prosecuting at Warwick Crown Court, said that during the evening on August 13 last year the police were called to an incident in Spencer Street, Leamington.
Day had suffered a seizure and had fallen and hit her head, but as they tried to help her she became violent and asked to be put in handcuffs or she would attack her friends.
She admitted she had taken cocaine and alcohol, and in the light of her behaviour the officers decided she should be ‘sectioned’ and called for an ambulance.
Day was taken to Warwick Hospital in an ambulance driven by paramedic Hanna de Angeli, with two officers in the back of the ambulance with her.
During the journey she had to be restrained and had a spit hood put over her head after trying to spit at them and to bite Pc Richard Griffiths’ fingers.
At the hospital she was taken to a room in A&E and, having seemed to have calmed down, the spit hood was removed.
But Day, who was bleeding from an injury, spat at Ms de Angeli, and blood in her spittle went into the paramedic’s eye – as a result of which she then had to have Coronavirus tests.
Other officers arrived and Day calmed down, but then became upset again and spat at Pc Caroline Dudley, but missed.
She then kicked Pc Sebastian Payne to his leg and made vile threats to Pc Griffiths in relation to his family.
Pc Dudley later commented: “Spitting in the current climate is the worst possible assault.”
Ian Speed, defending, conceded: “People who spit at emergency workers should go to prison.”
But he said Day was ‘acting under a mental disability which has plagued her for most of her life,’ which had led to the seizure she suffered, ‘admittedly after she’d been taking drugs.’
Mr Speed said Day, who had no previous convictions, argued that she ‘needs and deserves help.’
Sentencing Day, Recorder Balraj Bhatia QC told her: “This well crosses the custody threshold. In normal cases spitting in the Covid regime is the worst type of assault.
“However this is not the sort of case which calls for an immediate sentence. I have read both the pre-sentence report and the addendum and the letter from your mother.
“You have had a traumatic nine years or so, and have had difficulties and issues which are well canvassed in the reports.
“You are a young woman of good character, but you know that what you did is inexcusable and unacceptable. Your behaviour was sustained conduct over a period of time, no doubt fuelled by cocaine and alcohol.
“Your actions came at a time when the country has been under the most challenging and difficult times because of the Covid pandemic, when people have rallied together and raised the morale of the NHS staff.
“NHS staff and emergency workers who go out and serve the public are entitled to recognition, not insults and threats.
“You would have hated it if someone had spat at you and there was blood in that spit and it had gone into your eye, and you would have feared for the safety of you and your child.
“That is the fear you caused, that they could have been responsible for carrying a Covid infection to their loved ones.
“That is why there has to be a custodial sentence, and all things being equal I would have imposed an immediate sentence. It is only because of your personal circumstances that I am going to suspend the sentence.”