Norwich woman first to be jailed for attacks on police under new laws

Norwich Magistrates' Court. Picture: Denise Bradley.

Norwich Magistrates' Court. Picture: Denise Bradley. - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2016

A woman, thought to have been the first in Norfolk to have appeared in court charged with the new offence of assaulting an emergency worker, has been jailed.

The Wildman pub in Norwich. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

The Wildman pub in Norwich. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

New laws came into force this month which unlock harsher sentences for those who attack 999 workers - including police officers, paramedics and fire service staff.

Under the Assaults on Emergency Workers Act those who assault emergency workers now face up to 12 months in jail.

Amanda Roche, 46, who insisted she be called Mrs Salim-Khan, appeared at Norwich Magistrates Court on Thursday (November 29) charged with two counts of assault by beating of an emergency worker following assaults on two police officers in Norwich on November 24 this year. Despite the new powers, she was jailed for just six days.

Jan Brewer, prosecuting, said the defendant, who falls to be sentenced under the new legislation, had been at the Wildman pub.

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Police were called after she refused to leave and officers later found her walking down the road.

She was stumbling around, had 'glazed' eyes, smelt of alcohol and had an open bottle of beer in her hand.

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She became aggressive, started swearing and struck one of the officers on the lip and another on the cheek which caused reddening.

She was arrested and continued to be aggressive to officers.

Roche, of Westwick Street, Norwich, who appeared via videolink from HMP Peterborough, represented herself in court.

She had initially denied the two assaults and a third count of being drunk and disorderly in a public place on the same date but she changed her pleas on Thursday.

Roche, who has previous convictions for assaulting police officers, said she felt she was being 'harassed' and discriminated against.

She said she hit out following 'sadistic' behaviour by the police.

Susan Alexander, chair of the bench, sentenced her to a total of six days imprisonment.

Roche was also ordered to pay one of the officers, who suffered a reddened cheek, £50 in compensation.

Norfolk's police and crime commissioner Lorne Green, who has pushed for the new legislation, said he could not comment on specific cases but insisted 'an attack on an emergency worker is an attack on all of us.'

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