A Craigavon woman has been sentenced to eight months in jail after assaulting staff at a gas station she entered through a back door.
Elizabeth Henry, 39, appeared in Craigavon Magistrates’ Court charged with two counts of common assault, one count of criminal damage, one count of burglary (dwelling) and another count criminal damage resulting from a separate incident.
The court heard that on October 15 last year, at around 7 p.m., police received a report from staff at the GO service station on Lake Road in Craigavon that a woman had entered the store through the rear entrance, which the public could not access.
The court heard that the defendant went to the reserve, where she was observed by staff opening a packet of Skips and eating them before being asked to leave.
The defendant became verbally abusive towards staff and appeared to be under the influence. As she left the store, she walked around the back and threw several carts and chairs “in the direction” of two staff members. The defendant then picked up a hammer and threw it in the direction of a staff member.
The defendant then climbed the back door of the store and assaulted a member of staff “pushing her in the chest and hitting her in the arm”, before “spitting in her face”.
When the police arrived, the accused was identified and arrested.
She was taken to hospital for medical treatment and while waiting for treatment she spat several times in the back of a police van.
While receiving treatment, the court heard she made the following remark: “I threw a hammer at this little girl and it was not right.”
Regarding the second charge of criminal damage, on March 21 of this year at 9:45 a.m., the accused, who was arrested on other matters, spat all over the police vehicle in which she was being transported. The car had to be removed from service and cost £50 to have it cleaned.
Henry’s defense attorney said their client was “mortified” and “disgusted” by his actions.
“There’s no excuse and I’m not going to sit here and try to excuse it,” he said.
“She has some difficulties with alcohol and that, combined with her medication, is causing her difficulties.
“She is currently residing with one of her brothers who lost his accommodation through no fault of his own.”
District Judge Bernie Kelly commented, “The reason the court is ordering a pre-sentence report is to give the court options other than immediate custody.
“If you decide the court doesn’t have that report, that leaves me with a sentencing option.
“These are serious charges, especially those involving burglary. Spitting on someone isn’t pleasant at the best of times, but in the middle of a pandemic. To leave them in danger, not just them but their families and loved ones. »
Judge Kelly, while reporting the pleas, imposed two months each for common assault, four months for burglary and four months for criminal damage, to be served concurrently. For the additional charge of criminal damage, four months were imposed, to be served consecutively, bringing the total prison term to eight months.
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