AN alcohol-fuelled woman who spat on a police officer after causing a commotion at a hotel has received a suspended prison sentence.
Cheree Josephine McElmoyle appeared before Coleraine Magistrates Court.
The 26-year-old, of Derryhollagh Road, Randalstown, pleaded guilty to disorderly behaviour at licensed premises, assaulting police and possessing Diazepam.
The court heard how police had been called to the Bushtown Hotel near Coleraine at 1.35am of December 11 last year following reports that a woman was becoming violent towards staff and guests.
Officers asked heavily intoxicated McElmoyle to leave but she became argumentative, shouting as she was ushered towards a side entrance.
As she was being arrested McElmoyle told a police officer “Get your f…… hands off me.”
While being taken to Coleraine police station she attempted to grab the driver’s arm and spat on the arm of an officer’s jacket.
McElmoyle claimed that she had found the Diazepam in her possession in the hotel car-park.
She apologised for spitting on the officer.
In her defence, the court was told that the defendant suffered from learning difficulties and medical problems. She accepted, in sobriety, that her behaviour at the hotel had been “inappropriate” after “an exchange of words had spiraled.”
The incident was described as “an aberration” and Judge Peter King was assured that McElmoyle would “not be back before the courts, in any shape or form.”
Judge King told McElmoyle: “Had this case been disorderly behaviour and possessing a Class C drug you would have received a financial penalty or been bound over. But once you decide to spit on a police officer it falls into a different category. This behaviour cannot be tolerated.”
He imposed a two-month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, on the defendant who had a previously clear record.