Sunderland mum jailed for spitting at police officer and social worker

A Sunderland mum who spat at two emergency workers has been jailed by a judge who said those employed to help society must be protected by the courts.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 11 July, 2019, 16:45
Elise MacDonald, who was on a suspended sentence for assaulting police and has previous convictions for doing the same, spat in the hair of a social worker and on the neck of a Northumbria Police constable.

Elise MacDonald, who was on a suspended sentence for assaulting police and has previous convictions for doing the same, spat in the hair of a social worker and on the neck of a Northumbria Police constable.

Newcastle Crown Court heard the attacks happened on April 1 when MacDonald attended an appointment with a substance misuse social worker at Wear Recovery in Sunderland and was asked to leave due to her behaviour.

While being escorted out of the premises, the 34-year-old spat into the worker's hair.

The court heard police tracked down MacDonald in the nearby area and she warned one officer "I will bite your nose off" before spitting onto her neck.

In a victim statement, the social worker said: "We are here to help and support people, not to be subjected to threats and abuse.

"Neither do our other patients deserve this behaviour."

The police officer said in her victim impact statement: "I am disgusted at the thought of her spit being on me.

"I have never met her before and was unaware if she had any kinds of diseases.

"I honestly would rather be punched in the face than spat on.

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"No police officer should be degraded in this way."

MacDonald, of Polmuir Road, Sunderland, admitted two charges of assault on an emergency worker.

Judge Sarah Mallett sentenced her to a total of ten months behind bars.

The judge told her: "Assaults on those working to help and assist as well as protect members of society cannot and will not be tolerated by the courts.

"You have assaulted police officers on many occasions, including two convictions in respect of which you were the subject of a suspended sentence order imposed less than six months before you committed theses offences."

Jessica Slaughter, defending, said MacDonald has been the victim of violence herself and has a troubled life.

Miss Slaughter said MacDonald had been unable to pick up her methadone prescription that day and uses alcohol as a "coping mechanism".

Miss Slaughter added: "She is incredibly apologetic for her behaviour."