Buxton woman threatened to bite policeman

Web tile courts
Web tile courts

A suicidal Buxton woman said she didn’t remember attacking a policeman, a court heard.

Claire Snodgrass received a suspended sentence on Monday at High Peak Magistrates’ Court, the 17th time the case had been listed.

The 32-year-old was convicted of assaulting PC Jamie Farrell on October 13, 2012, in Buxton, following a trial in January.

Chairman of the bench Gerry Wallis denied the defence’s request to re-adjourn the case to allow a pre-sentence report to be prepared after the defendant failed to attend her appointment with probation.

The court heard that on the night of the incident Snodgrass had called herself an ambulance claiming she wanted to commit suicide. When paramedics attended her address at Welbeck Avenue at about 2.30am, she wasn’t there and the police were called.

Her partner Stephen Lynch confirmed they had had an argument and that wine had been splashed on the walls and the kitchen stools had been broken.

At 3am, the defendant’s father Geoffrey Snodgrass drove up to the house with his daughter and told officers she had been drinking and had threatened to jump off the viaduct.

The defendant swore at the police, said she hated them and that she no longer wanted to go to hospital. Officers told Snodgrass if she was staying, she would be arrested for breaching the peace.

Snodgrass became abusive and shouted she was going to make a complaint and bite PC Farrell. He arrested her and she kicked him in the groin.

Prosecutor Jennifer Fitzgerald said that at Buxton Police Station, Snodgrass said she had been let down by social services and couldn’t remember assaulting the policeman.

Lisa Tinsley, defending, said: “This was a person in dire straits. She was extremely distressed because her son had been taken into care.

“She called the ambulance because she wanted to be sectioned. She is not somebody who was completely reasonable.”

She added that PC Farrell did not sustain any lasting injuries and that her client could not comply with a curfew because she suffered from panic attacks and needed to leave the house.

Snodgrass was sentenced to 12 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months, a six-month supervision order and a 12-week curfew. She was also ordered to pay £100 court costs, £50 compensation and a £60 victim surcharge.