16th Jan, 2021

Coventry mum who spat in police officer's face during pandemic avoids jail

Coventry Editorial 27th Nov, 2020

A DRUNKEN woman spat right into the mouth of a police officer whilst in custody after being arrested for fighting in the street.

But, despite Katie Harvey having no fewer than four previous convictions for assaulting police officers, including one incident of spitting, she escaped jail.

For the sake of her young daughter, a Judge at Warwick Crown Court gave her a six-month sentence suspended for two years after she pleaded guilty to common assault on an emergency worker.

Harvey, aged 32, of Narberth Way, Walsgrave, was also made subject to a 7pm to 7am curfew for six weeks and ordered to take part in a rehabilitation activity for 35 days.

Prosecutor Sally Cairns said at one in the morning on May 21, during the first Covid-19 lockdown, the police were called to two women fighting in the street.

They found Harvey ‘very intoxicated’ after having had a lot to drink at a social gathering.

She was arguing with another woman and the officers tried to calm her down but she became volatile and aggressive towards the officers and was arrested.

At the police station when she had been told to sit down and keep calm she bared her teeth at officers and was taken to a cell.

As she walked past one of them she spat into his face, with some of it going into his mouth as well as hitting his face and uniform.

When Harvey was later interviewed, she was shown the CCTV recording of the incident in the cell area and was ‘horrified at her actions’, saying she could not remember doing it.

Mrs Cairns added Harvey had eight previous convictions, including four for assaulting police officers, of which one incident in 2008 had involved spitting.

After reading a pre-sentence report on Harvey, Judge Peter Cooke told her barrister Ian Windridge: “You will know the way in which judges deal with people who have been spitting at emergency workers during the health crisis.

“People have typically been finding themselves at the receiving end of nine-month sentences.

“This case presents me with the dilemma of whether a three-year-old girl is not going to be seeing her mummy for a few months.

“It is the fourth time she had assaulted a police officer.

“What she needs to understand is that, even if she escapes it today, she is going to make such a day in her daughter’s life inevitable if she doesn’t change her ways.”

Judge Cooke warned Harvey if she could not sort herself out once and for all her daughter would face a day when her mum was not returning home.

“It is the thought of that little girl that has stopped me from doing what I could so easily have done.

“The police officer is a family man who goes home to his family at night and has rights the same as the rest of us.”

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