Limavady woman with 113 convictions bit police officer and drew blood - court

Limavady Courthouse.
Limavady Courthouse.

A 28-year-old Limavady woman with 113 convictions bit a police officer, drawing blood, and kicked another officer in the knee causing him to be off work for 42 days, a court has heard.

Rachel Morrow of Rathbeg Crescent in the town was sentenced to six months in jail at Limavady Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday for resisting police, assaulting two police officers, assaulting a female, and disorderly behaviour on November 7, 2014.

Police were called to Limavady United Football Club shortly before midnight on Rathmore Road that night where there was a report of a female causing a disturbance. When police entered the premises Morrow was struggling with another female on the ground. The court heard the other female was restraining Morrow after she had assaulted another woman. Morrow was shouting and swearing and lashing out with her legs. Police had to place leg restraints on Morrow who bit one of the officers on the forearm, drawing blood. The court heard she refused to release her bite, and also caused an injury to a second officer on his knee.

When in the police cell van she continued to shout and swear and kicked the walls of the vehicle.

The court heard the officer who was bitten was tested to see if he had contracted any diseases, and that the tests came back negative. The other officer who was injured in the knee area was subsequently off work on sick leave for 42 days.

During interview, Morrow said she had taken a lot to drink and had no recollection of what happened and “felt sore all over”.

Defence solicitor Don Mahoney said on the night in question, it had been the first occasion in a considerable time that Morrow had consumed alcohol. He said she “waits several months and then she takes a drink, and she is back in the police station, clothes twisted up and people bitten”.

“She cannot drink responsibly,” said Mr Mahoney, adding Morrow accepted there were no excuses for her behaviour.

The solicitor said Morrow’s actions that night “were not premeditated”, and that she had hoped to go out and have “a decent, fun night”. He said with alcohol “she went from being the life and soul of her group to an absolute screaming banshee”.

“She is disgusted with herself,” said Mr Mahoney.

In sentencing, District Judge Liam McNally said Morrow first appeared in court in 2005 and, in the 10 years since, she now had 113 convictions. He said the court would not tolerate abuse of police, and added that he did not want to send Morrow to jail but she had left him with no choice.

For all the offences, Morrow was sentenced to six months in jail.