Woman who spat on police officer jailed


A 55-year-old woman who spat on a police officer after being arrested for shouting and swearing in the street has been jailed for three months.

Belfast Magistrates’ Court heard Pauline Burns was being a nuisance and keeping children awake at the weekend.

Burns, of Glasvey Gardens in the Dunmurry area, has more than 180 previous convictions.

She pleaded guilty to new offences of assault on police and disorderly behaviour during her latest appearance in the dock.

Prosecution counsel Stephanie Boyd said officers had been called to an unrelated disturbance at Cliftonville Avenue, north Belfast on Saturday.

Burns was not part of that incident but “wanted to involve herself”, according to the barrister.

She started shouting and swearing in the street, and was warned by police.

Burns was then arrested amid continued disorderly behaviour, spitting on the constable while en route to custody.

A PSNI officer said Burns has 184 previous convictions, including more than 60 for similar type of behaviour.

Despite defence submissions, District Judge Fiona Bagnall ruled Burns must be sent to prison.