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Woman punched police officer in face while swigging rum

PUBLISHED: 13:21 19 November 2019 | UPDATED: 13:21 19 November 2019

A police officer was punched in the face by Joanne Utting at an address on Rye Close, Norwich     Photo: Google Streetview

A police officer was punched in the face by Joanne Utting at an address on Rye Close, Norwich Photo: Google Streetview

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A woman punched a police officer in the face just three days after completing a sentence for violence against police.

Officers were called to a disturbance at Rye Close in Norwich at around 5.20pm on October 12, Norwich Magistrates Court heard.

They found a man and a woman, both with minor injuries to their heads.

Joanne Utting, 47, was abusive towards the officers, said prosecutor Robyn Khan.

"She went into the kitchen and was drinking a bottle of rum," she told the court. "She was told to get dressed and when she reappeared in the living room she was asked to sit down.

"She punched one officer in the face and was restrained on the floor. She continue to struggle and PAVA spray was deployed."

Ms Khan told the court Utting had previous convictions for battery and assaulting police officers from 2018.

A statement from one of the officers present said Utting had struck out "without warning".

Utting, of Shorncliffe Close, admitted assaulting an emergency worker by beating.

Ralph Gillam, for Utting, said she was remorseful and "has respect for emergency workers and recognises they do an important job".

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"When she is in drink she has a problem with being violent," he said.

He added she had been in a 25-year relationship and had struggled since it ended. Her previous relationship had been with a heavy drinker who died in her front room, which she said was "very traumatic".

"She has formed a new relationship with a man who is also a heavy drinker and she is to some extent pulled into that drinking with him," said Mr Gillam.

The probation service told the court Utting's record on her previous community order had been "impeccable".

Magistrates adjourned the case for a report to be prepared, including the option of immediate custody.

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