Curfew and fine for Thetford woman who spat at police officer

Bury St Edmunds Magistrates' Court
Bury St Edmunds Magistrates' Court
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A Thetford woman who assaulted two women and spat at a police officer has been given curfew and fined £447.

Tarnya Henderson, of Glebe Close, Thetford, pleaded guilty to five offences at Bury St Edmunds Magistrates’ Court yesterday (February 2).

On October 13, last year, Henderson was asked to leave the wake of a friend at the Thetford and District Ex-Service Men’s Club in Bridges Walk, Thetford, after becoming aggressive.

Staff removed her and she hit staff member Marie Oakley in the face.

The 38-year-old then assaulted Caroline Burgess who was stood outside the venue, causing a reddening of the skin.

David Bryant, prosecuting, said Henderson refused to get in the police car and was generally difficult when police were called, resulting in her being taken away in a prison van.

When in the van she spat in the face of PC Moore and kicked him on the side of the head.

Henderson said she did not know what triggered her behaviour, not remembering anything after drinking one pint of lager and two whiskies until she woke up in a police cell.

When interviewed she said: “I’ve got some apologising to do. I can’t believe what I’ve done.”

She added that she wanted to know what had started the incident, saying: “I don’t understand why I flipped. It’s disgusting. I feel so ashamed.”

Henderson questioned whether her drink had been spiked.

Her probation officer Fran Lewis told the court that Henderson struggled with alcohol misuse and prescribed drugs, but said she was managing the alcohol abuse and had given up heroin.

Mrs Lewis said Henderson was ‘petrified’ of being given a custodial sentence and keen to get into voluntary work.

Lyndon Davis, in mitigation, said Henderson’s remorse was genuine, insisting her behaviour that day was ‘out of character’.

He added: “She says she hasn’t drunk a drop of alcohol because of this.

“She does want to go back into work. I believe with some support she can achieve that.”

Magistrates’ chairman David Stevens said: “An employee was assaulted and a PC assaulted via spitting which we don’t like at all.”

But the magistrates did not feel the offence was serious enough for a custodial sentence, instead asking Henderson to continue work she was already undertaking with the probation service via a 12-month community order, including a drugs rehabilitation and a woman’s programme.

She was also given an eight-week curfew and told to pay £447 in costs and compensation to victims.