Drunken woman head-butted police officer after Burnley house arrest

Burnley Magistrates' Court
Burnley Magistrates' Court

A drunken woman head-butted a police officer, after she was arrested for causing trouble outside a house in Burnley, a court heard.

Stacey O'Brien left PC Kirsty Shepherd bruised on her left cheek after the early hours assault at Greenbank Police Station in Blackburn, where the defendant had had to be restrained.

Burnley magistrates were told how O'Brien, who moved to the town to escape domestic violence, was thrashing about, jumping up and down and being obstructive.

PC Shepherd, who had gone to help colleagues, was struck when she bent down and the defendant jumped up. O'Brien couldn't remember what had happened.

The 29-year-old defendant, who has 62 offences on her record, is also said to have suffered injury at the police station and may be making a complaint.

Miss Parveen Akhtar, prosecuting, said at 2am police attended Albert Street, after reports of a woman banging on a door, trying to get in. She was being detained at the address by the occupant.

Miss Akhtar continued: "When police arrived, they saw her standing outside the house, extremely drunk. She was acting in a disorderly and aggressive manner, flailing her arms around and shouting and swearing. Officers arrested her."

The prosecutor told the hearing that at the custody suite, officers had to restrain her as she became aggressive, refused to cooperate and started to resist. She head-butted PC Shepherd.

Mr Daniel Frazer, defending, told the court O' Brien said she was sorry at the end of the police interview. When the defendant went into custody, she was being somewhat obstructive, throwing herself on the floor and "generally being hard work".

The solicitor continued: "She accepts, in the cold, sober light of day, her behaviour was unlawful."

He said the defendant ended up with an injury on the other side of her face to which she made contact with the officer.

He continued: "She has received injuries whilst being restrained and detained by the police. Whether a complaint from Miss O'Brien to the police will be forthcoming, I cannot say."

Mr Frazer added: "She can't remember what's gone on and accepts she is guilty. She can only apologise for her behaviour."

Sentencing, the justices said O'Brien used her head as a weapon, but there was no premeditation. The chairman added: "It appears to be a single blow."

The defendant, of no fixed address, admitted assaulting an emergency worker and being drunk and disorderly, on April 4th.

She received a 12-month community order, with a six-month alcohol treatment programme and a 10-day rehabilitation activity requirement.

O'Brien, who is on employment and support allowance, was given a 12-month conditional discharge, was fined £40 and must pay £85 costs and an £85 victim surcharge.