Ballymena Court hears woman kicked driver on head causing police car to swerve across road at 70mph

Ballymena Court hears woman kicked driver on head causing police car to swerve across road at 70mph

A POLICE car swerved across two lanes of traffic at 70mph after the driver was kicked in the head by a woman who had earlier been arrested for a string of assaults.

District Judge Nigel Broderick told Melissa McDonagh (26), with an address listed as Glenville Park in Newtownabbey, she could have caused a fatal collision.

Ballymena Magistrates Court heard the defendant had pleaded guilty to four assaults; four assaults on police; resisting police; being disorderly in Ballymena; causing criminal damage to a dress and a lamp and attempted damage to a vehicle on September 5 last year.

A prosecutor said a "highly intoxicated" McDonagh arrived at an address; banged on a door and when it was answered she "forced" her way in and grabbed a female by the hair and face.

Her dress was ripped at the shoulder and McDonagh then pulled the female out into the garden, pulling her hair; punching and kicking her and biting her on the right leg, leaving a mark.

Other members of the household tried to restrain the defendant and were assaulted.

McDonagh then kicked a vehicle but no damage was caused.

She continued to struggle, fighting with police, kicking one officer in the abdomen and biting another on the leg.

McDonagh continued to swear.

The prosecutor added: "Whilst being conveyed to the police station she struck out with her right leg, kicking (an officer) on the back of the head whilst he was driving, making contact with the steering wheel".

The prosecutor said the vehicle momentarily swerved across "both lanes of traffic" whilst doing around 70mph.

The defendant kicked another officer on the knee, calling him a "f-cking scumbag".

Defence barrister Stephen Law said McDonagh previously had a completely clear record and accepted the "catalogue of offences is alarming."

At the time of the offences she was having a "pure mental crisis" and was "over-indulging and self-medicating in alcohol".

On the date in question "things turned violent and sour" but the defendant had shown "genuine remorse".

When sober, he said the defendant is "level-headed".

He added: "It is going to take time to put this young lady back together again".

District Judge Nigel Broderick said it had been "a catalogue of appalling behaviour".

He told McDonagh: "First of all you go to somebody's house, force your way in, and then assault them. When others try to intervene you assault them as well.

"Then when the police arrive you struggle and assault them.

"Then when you are put in the police car you, quite dangerously, assaulted the driver of that vehicle who was driving at quite a high speed and could easily have caused an accident that could have caused serious, if not fatal, injuries".

McDonagh was put on Probation for a year with a condition that she gets addiction treatment.