Jail for spitting and kicking police

AN ENNISKILLEN woman has been sentencd to four months in prison for spitting and kicking at police officers. 
Julia Stokes (25) of Drumbeg, Enniskillen, appeared at Enniskillen Magistrates Court on Monday via video link from Hydebank Prison, after being sentenced to jail at Laganside Court last week in relation to another matter, and where she had a previous suspended sentence activated.
Stokes was charged with disorderly behaviour, criminal damage, resisting police, and two counts of assaulting police following an incident on Monday, October 24. 
Shortly after 5pm on that date, police received a report of a disturbance at Rooney’s Spar shop on the Cornagrade Road in Enniskillen, involving a man and a woman. The disturbance was reported to have broken out between the man and woman, and staff also reported they had kicked items in the shop. 
Police located Stokes and the man in question walking away from the shop towards the Irvinestown Road. She made no reply when cautioned, and when the officers attempted to handcuff her she began struggling and kicking out. 
Stokes spat in the face of one of the officers, and she continued to be aggressive when put in the police car, continuing to spit and then kicking one of the officers.
When they reached Enniskillen police station Stokes, who was continuing to be violent and kicked another officer, had to be taken straight to a cell. 
The police car had to be cleaned after Stokes, who told police afterwards she had been drunk at the time, had spat in it. The cost of cleaning was £85.60. 
Defence barrister Stefan Rafferty asked the court to give credit for her early guilty plea, and explained Stokes had “complex” issues in her life following a tragic event which had resulted in her developing issues with alcohol. 
Mr Rafferty said alcohol was a key feature of Stokes’ offending, and had been in the incident in question. He added that afterwards she had been remorseful and was apologetic for what had happened. 
The barrister asked the court to consider alternatives to a custodial sentence, stating Stokes could benefit from the support of probation services, as “the sooner she is released to be rehabilitated to local community to get her life back on track the better.” 
District Judge Nigel Broderick said Stokes, who is currently serving seven months in prison, had amassed a considerable record of disorderly behaviour, criminal damage and assault, and apparently had a number of issues. 
Judge Broderick said he believed the custody threshold had been met and sentenced her to four months in prison, concurrent to her current sentence. 

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