Teenager in court after police assault

A TEENAGE girl who took part in a campaign of abuse against two couples and assaulted police officers has been told that one more offence could result in a jail term.

A TEENAGE girl who took part in a campaign of abuse against two couples and assaulted police officers has been told that one more offence could result in a jail term.

The 15-year-old girl, from Ipswich who cannot be named, appeared before magistrates in the town faced with five charges of assaulting a police officer and two of harrassment.

David Taylor, prosecuting, told the court the girl had been part of a group that regularly went to the home of an elderly couple in Bantoft Terrace and shouted and swore at them.

Mr Taylor said there had been a number of incidents throughout August when the couple were targeted by the group and eggs had been thrown at their house.

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The second couple targeted were two women, of Packard Avenue, who were shouted at because a group of youngsters discovered they were lesbians.

The girl and others would shout offensive remarks at the women, the court was told.

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Mr Taylor also said there had been five occasions when the girl had been arrested and each time had reacted angrily and had assaulted the arresting officer.

Describing one arrest, Mr Taylor said: "She didn't take kindly to this and at one time tried to bite the police officer. He was holding her and she kicked out at him and stamped on his left foot using both of her feet."

The girl admitted all seven charges and in mitigation, Mark Holt said: "It is fair to say she acts and then thinks. She was not acting alone, a group was acting together."

Sentencing the girl, magistrate Anne Parry said: "We consider the harassment of both couples very serious. They were both vulnerable in different ways.

"You were part of a group and that makes this more serious and frightening for them."

Mrs Parry said the fact all seven offences had happened within a few weeks had also been considered.

She said: "There was a string of offences in a short space of time and the assaults were on police officers doing their duty even if you thought they were not justified in arresting you."

Magistrates sentenced the girl to a one-year supervision order and a three month curfew between 6am and 6pm.

She was also given restraining orders banning her from the roads where the two couples live for two years and from Cobham Road recreation ground between 6pm and 9am. The restraining orders also mean she cannot contact either couple at all or be present if other people are shouting or swearing at them.

Mrs Parry said the girl could be imprisoned if she offends again.

"If you break any part of this sentence there is only one option like to be open to you and that will be going to prison."

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