Carlisle woman jailed for spitting at police and claiming to have coronavirus

A drunk and out-of-control Carlisle woman who spat blood at two police officers and claimed to have Covid-19 has been jailed for 14 months.

Kathleen Knaggs, 27, was suspected of being responsible for a road crash at Borland Avenue on the city’s Botcherby estate on April 24.

PCs responding at 8:20pm were then involved in a shocking seven-minute incident during which Knaggs initially punched and slapped one female officer.

“It is at this point that the defendant is said to have spat towards the PC,” prosecutor Beth Pilling told Carlisle Crown Court this afternoon, “and then makes further comments that she has HIV and is made subject to a coronavirus, which at that moment in time was during the lockdown period.”

As officers applied a spit hood to prevent further risk, Knaggs tossed her head back and struck the same officer’s chin. She then spat towards a second PC after the spit hood came loose.

Handcuffs and leg restraints were applied to Knaggs as she was taken to a police van by almost half a dozen police, and then to custody.

Knaggs, of Borland Avenue, also repeatedly refused to provide a sample of breath to police who suspected she had been drink-driving. She later admitted two emergency worker assaults, and failing to provide a specimen for analysis.

Both assaulted officers had made statements detailing the impact of the incident.

At the time, Knaggs was subject to a suspended two-year prison sentence she had received for stabbing an ex-partner repeatedly.

Knaggs, said by her lawyer to be “fully remorseful” for last month’s offending, which was described as as “aberration”, was jailed and ordered to serve an 18-month driving ban when released.

Judge Nicholas Barker told her: “The entirety of this incident is one which is sustained. Your conduct is quite appalling. You are implacable. You are drunk and you remain unco-operative, aggressive and highly abusive.”

Of front line police staff, the judge said: “What they are not are objects of abuse. What they are not are objects of physical violence. They may be police officers but first and foremost they are human beings that demand and require the respect of others.”

He added: “Regrettably on the night of 24 April you clearly lost all control of yourself.”