Sunderland woman bit police officer's hand during incident

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A Sunderland woman bit a police officer’s hand and racially abused another during a drunken meltdown after the breakdown of a relationship.

Kelly Dryden, 37, attacked while being handcuffed on the ground and caused a minor injury which left the officer fearing infection, a court was told.

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Dryden lashed out after police came to her home in Tunbridge Road, Thorney Close, on an unrelated matter on Sunday, July 30.

She had been drinking with her sister to drown her sorrows, but became almost immediately aggressive, prosecutor Lucy Todd said.

Magistrates in South Tyneside heard her behaviour worsened when she attempted to shout for her mum to come to care for her dog ahead of her being taken into custody.

Ms Todd added: “A policewoman has attended the defendant’s home. The defendant became confrontational.

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“The officer has taken the defendant’s arm, but she has pulled it away. She was restrained on the ground, and she continued to try to hit out.

“She swore, and nipped the officer on an arm and bit her hand. Other police attended, and she was racially abusive to one, calling him a ‘dirty P***’.

“She was taken to a police van and continued to shout abuse while being taken into custody. These are high culpability offences, there was a bite to the skin.”

Dryden pleaded guilty to racially aggravated harassment, alarm or distress and assault by beating of an emergency worker.

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She has 22 previous convictions from 29 offences, with five being against the person, and her last crime was in 2015.

Heather Bolton, defending, said: “She has had previous convictions but there’s been a lengthy period where she hasn’t troubled the courts.

“She had just come out of a long-term relationship and her mental health was suffering. She had gone out with her sister and had a few drinks.

“The police came to her address in relation to another incident that did not proceed. She accepts she was drunk.

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“There is bodyworn footage of her asking about the wellbeing of her dog. She wanted to her mum to be spoken to so that someone could look after her dog.

“The bite doesn’t look like it’s pierced the skin, She is embarrassed about what happened.”

Magistrates in South Tyneside adjourned the case for reports and granted Dryden unconditional bail to be sentenced at the same court on Tuesday, April 30.

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