Jailed: Falkirk woman who claimed to have COVID spat at police and threatened doctor

A Falkirk woman claiming to have Covid who spat blood and saliva at police, bit an officer on the leg, urinated in the back of a police van, and threatened to assault a hospital doctor has been jailed for 18 months

By Court Reporter
Thursday, 27th January 2022, 3:19 pm

Michelle Barr's conduct was condemned as "despicable and disgusting" by a sheriff.

At Stirling Sheriff Court, Prosecutor Kristina Kelly said police went to the town’s High Street about 5.00pm on September 25 after CCTV monitoring Barr "alerted them to anti-social behaviour".

The 35-year old from Falkirk, was arrested and then "lunged with her mouth" towards PC Carlie-Anne Spowart and bit her right leg.

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Falkirk Police Station

Ms Kelly said: "She was placed in a spit hood and put into a police van cage, but she managed to remove her hood, banged her handcuffs off her seat, repeatedly headbutted the cage, and struck her nose on the corner of her seat.

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Ms Kelly said: "She spat blood and spittle over the van, kicked the cell, and screamed constantly."

She had to be carried out of the van after refusing to leave, and spat on the side of PC John Thompson's face.

Falkirk Sheriff Court

Taken to a cell, she spat on another officer, PC Gillian Mansell, and then tried to headbutt her.

Placed under constant observation, she shouted and threatened to urinate on them.

The depute fiscal continued: "The accused feigned unconsciousness, which required the officers to move closer to check on her. Each time they did, she attempted to headbutt or spit on them."

A custody nurse had "concerns" and instructed Barr should be taken to hospital.

Officers brought clean clothes for her, and while she was being put into them she spat directly into PC Christine Glendinning's face.

A spit hood was re-applied, but Barr held her breath and stopped moving, which meant it had to be removed.

She had to be carried to a police van, during which she headbutted PC Spowart on the stomach and spat towards PC Mansell.

Placed in the van cage, she screamed at officers, and managed to partially remove her jogging bottoms while still being handcuffed to the rear, before urinating.

Barr was eventually seen by a nurse in the police van in the hospital car park and cleared for return to the station, where she continued to try to assault the officers.

She said if a doctor came to see her at the hospital she would say he'd sexually assaulted her, before adding, "I'm going to go to sleep and I'll assault whoever wakes me up".She added in reference to a doctor, "Just you wait, I'll assault him."

Ms Kelly said: "During the whole incident she continually said that she had Covid, although she was inconsistent about when she was tested and when she was supposed to remain in isolation.

Appearing by video link from Polmont Prison, Barr pleaded guilty to police assault and threatening and abusive behaviour.

Solicitor Mark Fallon, defending, said the incident had been "driven by the misuse of drugs".

He said: "Miss Barr had awoken to find her partner had passed away during the night, and that was very distressing to Miss Barr.

"In the cold light of day, she is ashamed and appalled by her behaviour."

Sheriff Derek Hamilton told Barr her behaviour had been "disgusting and quite despicable.”

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