Woman ‘tried to claw female officer’s eyes out’ - court is told

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A woman who called police to her home became aggressive and tried to “claw” a female officer’s eyes out.

Jennifer McCosh (41), of Old Cullybackey Road, Ballymena, also tried to bite the constable and also targeted another officer with her teeth.

McCosh previously admitted two charges of assaulting police and at the town’s Magistrates Court on Thursday, where she appeared for sentencing, she was jailed for three months.

A prosecutor said the defendant asked police to her home about revoking it as a bail address for her son - David Given Surgenor (22).

Last summer Surgenor was on the cusp of playing for Northern Ireland in Glasgow in the World Cup for people deemed homeless but because of offending he did not make the squad.

At one stage last year he was bailed to stay with his mother but on January 7 this year, McCosh called police to remove him from the property.

The prosecutor said McCosh, who had 34 previous convictions, turned highly aggressive when police were taking Surgenor out.

She shouted abuse, screamed incoherently and “clawed” at an officer’s eyes and face and bit her on the hand and attempted to bite a second officer.

McCosh’s defence barrister Andrew Moriarty said his client’s attitude changed when police struggled to remove Surgenor who was “misbehaving” and “properly”, police had to use some force to deal with him.

Added Mr Moriarty: “She is and always will be his mother and it was that potent cocktail of alcohol consumption allied to the natural affinity to her son that sparked a reaction”. He said she now regrets “over-reacting”.

District Judge Peter King said the assault on the officer was well over the usual type of attack on police when the constable was “clawed” on the face.

He said the officer was left with a cut to her cheek and swelling around her eye.

Judge King said that sort of behaviour could not be condoned and anybody who behaved that way towards police deserved to be sent to jail.

He noted the defendant had targeted police previously as part of her 34 previous convictions, and told McCosh: “Thankfully we’re not dealing with more significant damage, no thanks to you, you were aiming for her eyes”.

He jailed the defendant for three months but she was released on her own bail of £750 pending appeal.