Police officers were forced to call for backup when a woman lashed out whilst she was being driven to Melksham custody suite earlier this year.
Appearing at Swindon Magistrates’ Court on Monday, Catriona Rankin, 47, pleaded guilty to being drunk and disorderly in public, assaulting two emergency workers and criminal damage.
Crown prosecutor Siobhan Oxley said Wiltshire Police was called to reports of a female smashing up a parked vehicle outside her own address in Northwood, Chippenham, in the early hours of 17 April this year.
On arrival, officers located a damaged Citroën Picasso. The car’s wing mirror was hanging off -dangling by a wire – but there was no one present at the scene.
Moments later, Rankin – who was shouting loudly – appeared in front of the officers. She confirmed she caused the damage before again lashing out at the vehicle.
She was arrested on suspicion of being drunk and disorderly in a public place and criminal damage, and as a result, her behaviour worsened.
The barefooted defendant was placed into the back of a police car, accompanied by PC Kyeian Thompson. PC Mark Higgs got behind the wheel and began driving the suspect to Melksham custody.
A short time later, Rankin began kicking out and struck PC Higgs in the arm. PC Tompson was also kicked and suffered what prosecutor Oxley described as a “laceration” to her arm.
The officers radioed in for backup to assist them in getting her to custody without further incident. It was also found, that whilst unattended in the police vehicle, she spat on one of the seats. Due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, the vehicle was to be deep cleaned as a precaution.
In custody, she continued to be abusive and shout foul language at officers.
The court heard that Rankin was previously of good character, with not even an arrest or caution on her record.
Defence solicitor Gordon Hotson said his client would appreciate help from The Nelson’s Trust with regard to her alcohol issues.
He also pointed out that, having seen photographs, the “laceration” to PC Tompson’s arm was more of a “scratch”, which he claims was likely caused by the defendant’s toenail.
District Judge Joanna Dickens said “It’s unusual to see a lady your age before the court for the first time for violent matters.
“It’s hugely embarrassing for you, and a stain on your character going forward”.
She imposed a 12-month community order with 10 rehabilitation activity requirement days. Judge Dickens also told Rankin she must pay £100 compensation to each injured officer.