Drunk mum-of-two attacked police

Burnley Magistrates' Court
Burnley Magistrates' Court
Share this article

A mother-of-two attacked a police inspector and booted another officer in the groin after downing 24 cans of lager and sambuca and vodka, a court heard.

Abigail Mitchell (24) punched Inspector Paul Gaynor in the face and then set on PC Benjamin Wignall when her 32-year-old fiancé Lee Mason was breath-tested, suspected of drink driving.

Mitchell had "kicked off" when rugby player Mason was told he would be arrested. She said didn't like the way she claimed the police were "manhandling," her other half, who had resisted being detained and had to be taken to the ground, Burnley magistrates were told.

Mitchell has now admitted two counts of police assault, after the early hours outburst, on November 1st. Mason pleaded guilty to driving with excess alcohol - he blew 42 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath, the legal limit is 35 - in Netherwood Road, Burnley, resisting police, driving otherwise than in accordance with a licence and no insurance. The couple live in Raglan Road in the town.

Mitchell, who is deemed unfit for work and is on employment and support allowance, is said to have been "alcohol- dependent" for a year. She received a six-month community order, with a six-month alcohol treatment programme and a four week curfew, between 7pm and 7am, seven days a week. She must pay each officer £100 compensation.

The chairman told Mitchell police were not there to be assaulted in the course of their duty. She added: "That is not part of the job."

Mason was fined £120, was given a 12-month conditional discharge and was banned from driving for a year. He was ordered to pay a £30 victim surcharge and £85 costs.

Miss Parveen Akhtar, prosecuting, said at 2.15am, police saw a vehicle being driven erratically on Queen Victoria Road, Burnley, and stopped it. Mason was at the wheel, had a provisional licence and wasn't insured. He failed a breath test and was taken to the police station.

Miss Akhtar continued: "When told he was going to be arrested, he resisted and was taken to the floor. This caused Miss Mitchell to get involved. She punched the inspector in the face and when his colleague went to assist, she kicked him violently in the genitals."

Mr Kamran Yousaf, defending the pair, said Mitchell was very remorseful. She had got "riled" and tried to intervene when her partner of seven months was being arrested.

Mr Yousaf said Mitchell had had a "massive amount of alcohol," - she had had 24 cans of lager, some sambuca and some vodka. He continued: "She didn't know what she was doing. She does have a problem with alcohol. She tells me she has had a particular problem with alcohol for some time and she is seeking assistance for that."

The solicitor told the hearing: "She is now four to six weeks pregnant. She knows as well as anybody that her lifestyle cannot continue." Mr Yousaf added: "She thought her partner was being manhandled and she tried to intervene."

For Mason, the lawyer, who described him as "lightly convicted," said the defendant had earlier suffered a rugby injury. He continued: "When he was being arrested, he felt some discomfort."