Criticism of another sentence in Sheffield after woman avoids jail despite spitting at police

Another court sentence in Sheffield has been criticised after another woman avoided jail despite spitting at a police officer.

Thursday, 23rd April 2020, 7:48 am
Updated Friday, 24th April 2020, 1:57 pm

Last week, Sheffield magistrates heard how Rebecca Short, aged 27, of Howard Road, Bramley, Rotherham, assaulted four officers called out to a reported domestic incident.

During the incident at Short’s former home on Whitegate Walk, Wingfield, Rotherham, was aggressive and tried to kick and bite officers as she was arrested.

Prosecutor Alison Goldsmith said Short became verbally abusive and said ‘I hope you get coronavirus and die’.

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South Yorkshire Police Federation chairman Steve Kent.

Miss Goldsmith said Short made threats to one of the officers, spat and saliva actually landed on one of the officers.

Short pleaded guilty to three counts of assaulting an emergency worker and admitted a racially aggravated assault against a further emergency worker.

She was sentenced to 22 weeks of custody, suspended for 12 months.

That same week Keeley Jones, 34, of Highstone View, Worsbrough Common, Barnsley, also escaped jail despite coughing and spitting at police officers and a custody officer during the coronavirus crisis.

After being charged with three counts of assault on an emergency service worker, Jones was handed a 16-week prison sentence, suspended for a year – outraging South Yorkshire Police Federation Chairman Steve Kent, who said ‘the courts are still not backing our police officers, who like our wonderful NHS colleagues, are out there risking their health during this outbreak to keep people safe’.

Commenting on the latest sentence handed out to Short, Mr Kent said: “It defies belief that the offender in this case has escaped a jail sentence.

“Yet another example of the courts letting our officers down. Quite frankly it is not good enough.

“Officers should be able to do their job which is difficult as it is especially at this time with the full knowledge they will have the backing of the courts when they are assaulted like this.”

There are currently 2,955 confirmed cases of coronavirus in South Yorkshire, based on figures released yesterday.

The county’s death toll stands at 334.

Sheffield has 1,684 cases and there have been 154 deaths so far.

Doncaster has 280 cases and 63 deaths have been recorded.