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Indiscriminate rage saw woman spit on police

Indiscriminate rage saw woman spit on police

Tuesday 18 December 2018

Indiscriminate rage saw woman spit on police

A young woman has been sent to prison for Christmas after going into an "indiscriminate rage" in Town, where she was caught on CCTV hitting and shoving multiple random passers by.

After then spitting on and kicking police officers when they intervened, Rachael Smith, 26, will serve six months behind bars, just a year after being released from Les Nicolles for previous offences.

She was sentenced by the Magistrate for four charges, one for assaulting a woman in Town, two for assaulting police officers, and for a public order offence.

It was late in the evening of the 26 August when Smith was seen on CCTV by operators in the Control Room in the Lower Pollet. She was lashing out at strangers in the street, pushing and shoving them, so the operators called police officers to the scene. 

When they got there, the officers found Smith sitting in a doorway looking upset, but she was abrasive to them, telling them to leave her alone. A woman then approached the officers to tell them Smith had assaulted her, by pushing her on the chest with an open palm, and that she wished to make a complaint. The officers arrested Smith on suspicion of assault.

While they were escorting her to the police van, Smith struggled, so the officers took her to the floor and asked her to calm down. The court heard that body worn camera footage showed one of the officers telling Smith "you're being stupid, aren't you Rachael", which caused her to lash out and kick one of the two police officers. Then when being put into the van, she spat into the other's face.

police car

Police were called to the scene after operators observed the public disorder live on CCTV.

Judge Graeme McKerrell said it was only thanks to the patience of everyone else in the area on that night that Smith was not facing more than one assault charge, as the court heard no one else came forward with a complaint, despite CCTV showing several more people being approached by Smith. 

Speaking on Smith's behalf, advocate Sam Steel told the court his client had a well documented history with alcohol, which she had previously managed to tackle, but on the day in question, she found out a relation had suddenly and unexpectedly died. This, alongside an argument with her partner, caused her to turn back to drinking. 

Smith wanted to openly and fully apologise to the court for her actions, which she herself described as "disgusting and vile" - saying she was acting out of anger and sadness.

Judge McKerrell gave Smith a total of six months behind bars; four for the assaults on police officers, and two for the assault and public order offence.

"While I recognise the trigger that caused you to drink, I cannot ignore or justify what happened," he said.

He described spitting on a police officer as a heinous thing to do, that could only be punished with prison: "While I note all of the good things that are said by the probation service and others on your behalf, I have to send you to prison today."


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