Woman punched police officer in the nose at Sunderland Royal Hospital's A&E department

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A woman twice punched a police officer in the face when her addiction to drink and drugs turned her to violence at Sunderland Royal Hospital.

Nadine Conley’s shock assault in the A&E department left the female officer with a battered and bruised face she could not hide from her young daughter after work.

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Conley, 25, of Rickleton Village Centre, Rickleton, Washington, surprised other patients when she turned around from walking away from the PC to attack on Friday, November 3, a court heard.

She landed two clenched fist punches to her victim’s nose and had to be restrained by three other officers at the site dealing with another issue.

After her arrest, she admitted she had lashed out because the police officer had prevented her leaving on the instructions of nurses concerned for her mental wellbeing.

At South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court, Conley, who has no previous convictions, pleaded guilty to a charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

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The court heard she was ashamed of her actions and was planning to enter a year of rehab to combat her addictions, with the support of a Christian organisation.

Prosecutor Chris Tame said: “The officer was on duty at the hospital at 11pm when security guards alerted her that Nadine Conley had been assessed by nurses and was lashing out at them.

“She was shouting at the nurses after being told that she would be seen shortly. She said that she was leaving.

“However, the officer was told by staff that because an assessment by the mental health team was needed, she couldn’t leave.

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“The defendant told the officer not to touch her and she started to walk toward seats in the seating area.

“She then turned and punched the officer to the nose twice with the clenched fist with her right hand.

“The officer was assisted by three others. She was under observation for 10 minutes and didn’t know why the attack had happened.

“In interview, the defendant said the reason she had attacked was because she was being stopped from leaving the hospital, it was through frustration.

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“The offence is aggravated because it was committed against an emergency worker and took place in a hospital in front of other people.”

Paul Hanratty, defending, said: “There has been a reliance on alcohol and drugs which have undoubtedly contributed to her being unwell at the hospital.

“One can well understand the distress of the officer and those who were there. She is ashamed of her behaviour and remorseful.

“Subsequently, she has done something about this. She is now working with a Christian organisation that helps addicts.

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“On her own volition, she contacted them to say she had a problem with alcohol and with drugs and couldn’t do it on her own.

“She would go away for an appreciable period of time to get through this addiction and to get through these problems.”

Magistrates sentenced Conley to a 12-month community order, with 20 rehabilitation days, and fined her £80.

She must pay a £114 victim surcharge, £85 court costs and £225 compensation to the officer. 

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