Two women attacked police who were called to a lockdown party while one told officers “I’ve got corona, watch out”, a court has heard.
Police got into a struggle with Millie Robinson and Bayleigh Meadows when they found drunk partygoers at flats in Eastbourne, East Sussex, England in April.
Two officers were met with a “barrage of abuse” and were told by the occupants they “had a right to be at each other’s flats”, Lewes Crown Court heard.
As police tried to break up the gathering, Robinson turned to an officer, pursed her lips as if to spit, and said: “I have got corona, watch out.”
Bodycam footage showed the encounter spilled into the hallway, where Robinson ended up on the floor and kicked out, catching an officer in their stab vest and leg, the court heard.
Bayleigh Meadows picked up a toilet roll holder with a stone base and threw it at one officer, which struck him in the head.
The officer, who in a statement described the incident as a “fast and surreal moment”, suffered a 2cm cut which had to be glued back together and a large lump on his head, the court was told.
Lockdown rules, which have been enforced by police, were implemented to reduce contacts between people not living together to slow the spread of the coronavirus and prevent hospitals being overwhelmed with cases.
Robinson, 21, pleaded guilty at a previous hearing to two charges of assaulting an emergency worker and was jailed for six months.
Her defence barrister, Rebecca Upton, said she had found lockdown “extremely hard”, felt “extremely isolated”, and that lead to a decline in her mental health.
She said: “Unfortunately, she took it upon herself to try and feel better by consuming a large quantity of alcohol.”
Upton said Robinson was distressed and showed remorse straight away.
Meadows, 21, pleaded guilty at a previous hearing to one charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and was given 12 months in prison.
Adam James, for Meadows, argued the event was “not a party but a gathering”, that she had underlying mental health issues and had only a “limited” memory of what took place.
Both women are from Eastbourne.
Judge Christine Laing QC said: “This matter happened just two weeks into the lockdown period imposed by the government to try and halt the spread of COVID-19, a deadly pandemic.”
She noted a history of violence against police officers in the women’s past convictions and said they had “declined much of the opportunities of help that you have been given”.
She added: “Police officers on a daily basis have to face risks to protect the public, perhaps never more so than during a pandemic.
“They should not have to deal with behaviour like that which we saw ever.”
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