Woman bit a police officer so hard she left a scar, court hears

PUBLISHED: 14:00 19 October 2019 | UPDATED: 16:03 20 October 2019

Norwich City Police Station on Bethel Street. Photo: James Bass

Norwich City Police Station on Bethel Street. Photo: James Bass

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2011

A woman who bit a police officer so hard she left them with a scar has pleaded guilty to assault.

Arminata Balde, 27, of Devonshire Street, Norwich, pleaded guilty to one count of intentional racial aggravated harassment and two counts of physically assaulting an emergency worker when she appeared at Norwich Magistrates' Court on Friday, October 18.

She also pleaded guilty to engaging in a barred activity under the Safeguarding Vulnerable Groups Act by applying to a job to work as health care assistant in August last year.

The court heard how on April 4, Balde went to Bethel Street police station to ask for some clothes which were in police custody as part of an investigation to be returned to her.

But, when she was told the property was not being kept at Bethel Street, Balde became aggressive.

Prosecuting, Josephine Jones, said: "The defendant shouted and swore at the officers dealing with her and said she wanted [the property] today."

Officers were then called to arrest Balde, but she resisted and started shouting racial abuse.

Ms Jones said: "In the movement of getting her to the ground she bit the arm of PC Preston, breaking the skin."

Balde was also recorded on CCTV kicking PC Baldwin in the thighs, leaving the officer with a two-inch bruise on their leg.

Mitigating, Alistair Taunton said Balde's son had been the victim of a crime and his clothes had been taken as evidence, but that the investigation had finished and Balde had been asking for the property back "for some time".

He said the clothes had sentimental value.

"The officer said he could understand why the woman was upset because she been asking for the items before, nobody ever got back in touch, the property was never at Bethel Street," he said.

Mr Taunton said Balde accepted that she had got very upset, he said: "It seems to have been that life in general was getting on top of her as afterwards she was diagnosed with depression and anxiety."

Balde was sentenced to a 12-month community order with 25 rehabilitation activity requirement (RAR) days.

She was also ordered to pay £25 compensation to each officer she assaulted and £75 in costs totalling £125.

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