Police used surgical masks as ‘spit hoods’ as drunken Norwich woman showered them in spittle in hospital
PUBLISHED: 12:59 25 February 2019 | UPDATED: 12:45 27 February 2019
A drunken woman attacked emergency workers by constantly spitting at them and bit one police officer on the thigh in what was described as some of the “worst abuse” one officer had experienced, a court heard.
Police were concerned for the welfare of Bobbi Squire, 28, who was found drunk and walking in the road near her home on Palmer Road, in Norwich.
But when she was taken to the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital, she spat at a health worker and also kept spitting at police officers, so they were forced to wear makeshift “spit hoods” made from surgical masks, Norwich Crown Court heard.
Richard Paterson, prosecuting, said Squire kept being abusive and when a police officer went to put handcuffs on her, she bit him on the thigh breaking the skin and she also spat at officers when in the police van, despite wearing a spit hood.
In a statement made by the health worker she said that it was “unacceptable behaviour” by Squire and said: “As a health care professional this type of behaviour is not tolerated.”
He said a police officer, who also had to restrain Squire, said: “The abuse was some of the worst I have experienced in my career.”
The court heard Squire had a long history of assaulting police officers and drunken behaviour.
Squire, of Palmer Road, Norwich, pleaded guilty to assaults on a nurse and four police officers on November 15, last year.
Jailing Squire for six months, Judge Katharine Moore said that emergency workers should not have to put up with such behaviour, especially when they were only trying to help and said: “There is a history of public disorder. A particular focus for you appears to be police officers.”
John Morgans, for Squire, said there was a mental health background to her actions, but she was now getting help she needed.
He said: “No one is going to condone her behaviour.”
However he said there were now signs of a turnaround in her life.
New laws came into force in November, last year, which unlock harsher sentences for those who attack 999 workers and under the Assaults on Emergency Workers Act those who assault emergency workers now face up to 12 months in jail.