An Armagh woman who called officers who attended her home over concerns for her safety “UVF b******s” is to appeal against a seven month prison sentence.
The district judge told the 53-year-old: “The courts over the years have shown what I would call exceptional leniency. You have received community orders for breaching community orders and suspended prison sentence after suspended prison sentence.”
Florence Margaret Agnew, of Drumarg Park, appeared for sentencing on assault on police, disorderly behaviour and resisting police at the city’s Magistrates’ Court, sitting at Newry, on Tuesday.
Prosecution outlined that on August 13, at 1.50am, police attended the home of the defendant over concerns for her safety.
Upon arrival, officers noted that Agnew appeared in an emotional and intoxicated state, with a quarter full litre bottle of vodka observed by her side.
At first she expressed her desire to be taken to hospital but later she became abusive, stating she wanted police and ambulance staff to leave .
However, as police got into their vehicle to leave the scene Agnew blocked their path.
One officer got out to speak with the defendant but as they approached she lunged at them and was subsequently arrested.
During her arrest, Agnew shouted and swore at police calling them “UVF b******s”.
Court heard that the defendant had failed to attend with the probation service in order for a presentence report to be prepared.
Defence barrister Conor Coulter stated that there was “very little positive” that could be said on his client’s behalf. He explained that she had enjoyed 12 months of sobriety up until this incident.
He said that after receiving bad news regarding her brother she had used alcohol as a “coping mechanism”.
Mr Coulter stated that Agnew had asked for a female officer and had “taken exception” to not being provided with the assistance she felt she needed.
District Judge Bernie Kelly said: “This was August 13, of 2021. What were we in the middle of? Do we have all of the personnel that we need? Your client got an ambulance, which is more than most people get. Yet she still insisted in calling the shots.”
Mr Coulter commented that the defendant had been making a “cry for help” and said her mental health was suffering.
District Judge Kelly stated: “She was drunk. If her mental health was suffering I am sure that the consumption of copious amounts of alcohol will not have helped.”
Addressing Agnew, the judge said: “The courts over the years have shown what I would call exceptional leniency. You have received community orders for breaching community orders and suspended prison sentence after suspended prison sentence.
“Ms Agnew is going to have to desist from alcohol before she can get any help.”
The defendant was sentenced to four months in prison for the offences before the court, with a further three months invoked from a suspended sentence, making a total of seven months in prison.
Mr Coulter stated that his client wished to appeal the sentence.
District Judge Kelly granted bail to appeal of £500 but did not release her pending this.