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Woman who fought outside off-licence and had to be restrained in A&E vows she’s off the drink

District judge said: 'Now you know why I stand on a soapbox and give off about alcohol. We need to change our Irish relationship with alcohol'

A Newry woman who got into a fight outside an off-licence after stealing cigarettes and alcohol has said she is off the drink.

Court heard the 23-year-old also bit an officer after she was taken to hospital with injuries following the altercation.

Karla Thompson, of Drumalane Park, pleaded guilty to assault on police, disorderly behaviour, theft and common assault at the city’s Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

Prosecution outlined that on June 21, police received a report that the defendant had stolen alcohol and cigarettes to the value of £29.82 from the Winelodge in Newry.

Following this an altercation arose between Thompson and another female; when officers arrived the observed the defendant push the injured party.

Prosecution stated: “Both women had made far more serious allegations but only the shove which was witnessed by police was proceeded with.”

Thompson was then taken to Daisy Hill Hospital for treatment for injuries.

Whilst there, the defendant became aggressive and tried to leave. Police had to be called to assist hospital staff.

One officer was bitten on the arm by Thompson as he held her down; this did not break skin but left redness.

Defence counsel stated: “This is a woman with no record. She did have a diversion a year or so ago. This is an unseemly situation which started off with her consuming too much drink in an off-licence.

“Two ladies ended up in a fight, it spiralled out of control with her having simply taken too much alcohol.”

He continued: “Ms Thompson is very contrite about her behaviour and has brought the money to court this morning to pay for restitution.

“She also instructs that since the incident she had not taken any alcohol.”

District Judge Eamonn King said: “You are a young lady, you are 23 years of age and you are embarrassed to be before the court, these are very serious offences.

“Two ladies fighting, too much drink, assaulting a police officer, too much drink, and stealing alcohol, too much drink.”

He continued: “You were injured and taken to hospital where you fought with nurses and police in a busy A&E department.

“Now you know why I stand on a soapbox and give off about alcohol. We need to change our Irish relationship with alcohol.”

Thompson was conditionally discharged for 12 months.

In addition, she was ordered to pay compensation of £29.82 and a fine of £350, along with the offender’s levy of £15.

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