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Ely woman who assaulted and spat on police and paramedics is jailed for two years

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An Ely woman, who assaulted police and ambulance staff ten times just five days after being released from prison after serving a 24-week sentence in connection with assaulting hospital staff and a police officer in the autumn of last year, is back behind bars.

Twenty-seven-year-old Sarah Smith, who had a history of violence, punched, kicked, bit and spat at those who were trying to help her.

Yesterday she was jailed for two years by a judge at Cambridge Crown Court after she pleaded guilty to ten charges including assaults on an emergency worker, eight police officers, a member of police staff and an ambulance service worker.

Sarah Smith (34747628)
Sarah Smith (34747628)

The court heard that on April 2, police had been to Smith’s home in Morley Drive in Ely, to help paramedics after she had become violent and abusive. When police had attempted to restrain her so she could be taken to hospital, she had kicked and bitten officers and spat at them.

When her handcuffs were moved when she arrived at hospital, Smith punched one officer in the head and bit another.

The following day, police were again called to Smith’s address by probation officers. She had been released from prison just five days earlier after serving a 24-week sentence in connection with assaults on hospital staff and a police officer last autumn.

The court heard she had again spat at officers multiple times, including an ambulance service worker, and attempted to bite them. She was arrested for assaulting emergency workers and, while in custody at Parkside Police Station in Cambridge, she again lashed out, this time spitting at a detention officer.

Sentencing her Judge Jonathan Cooper acknowledged what he called the 'enormous debt of gratitude owed to all emergency workers who were prepared to put themselves in danger'. And he commended each of the individual officers in the case for their conduct and in particular the care and restraint with which they had managed what he called 'a very difficult and disturbed defendant'.

After the sentencing hearing Chief Constable Nick Dean said: “Police officers and staff are regularly subjected to violence and threats which, too often, result in injury. While the severity of such attacks change, the impact upon society does not. It is never acceptable to assume that assaults upon police officers and staff should be tolerated, it is not simply‘part of the job.

“The public call upon the police to help them when they are most in need. We have a duty to protect the public, but we are all too often prevented from doing so due to violent individuals who choose to attack those who are there to help them.

“Most importantly it should be remembered that police officers and staff are people, they are fathers, mothers, sons and daughters. When they are attacked they become victims just like any other, but victims who have been attacked while trying to protect others from being victimised.

“At this particular time, when the nation faces a public health crisis, we need to rely on our front line officers to support our NHS colleagues in keeping people safe more than ever. They cannot do this if they are injured and sick.

“The potential anxiety and stress caused by incidents such as this cannot be underestimated. This is a serious concern, not only for the officers and their colleagues but their immediate family.”