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Woman spared prison for assaults on police sergeant and Ipswich court officer

07:00 31 December 2015

South East Suffolk Magistrates

South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court

Archant

An Ipswich woman has been spared prison after spitting at a police officer and punching a court security guard out of frustration.

Claire Brown, of Duke Street, pleaded guilty to two charges of assault when she appeared before South East Suffolk Magistrates’ Court.

Prosecutor Colette Harper said the assaults occurred at the same court at around 8.50am on December 9.

A police sergeant and a police constable had brought Brown to the court on another matter.

They were standing in the hallway in the cell area when Brown spat at the sergeant from behind the bars of her cell.

He backed away and the 35-year-old spat at him for second time with the saliva hitting his right cheek.

The court heard Donna Lynch, the court custody manager, had been attempting to search Brown, but she refused to let her do so.

During an attempt to put Brown into a female cell she swung a punch at the security officer connecting with the side of her head.

Dino Barricella, representing Brown, said his client had thought she would be remanded in custody on the matter she had been arrested for and would be spending Christmas in custody.

The court was told Brown did what she did out of frustration.

Mr Barricella added: “In the cold light of day she can do nothing more than apologise to the court and those involved.”

District Judge Sandeep Kainth sentenced Brown to four months’ imprisonment, suspended for one year.

He also ordered her to pay costs of £85.

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