£170 bill for barring police

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A GRANDMA-TO-BE stopped a police officer getting into her home when he wanted to carry out a search.

Jane Marie Graham – whose is due to become a grandmother when her daughter gives birth to twins – was in her house in Straker Street, Hartlepool, when police knocked at the door.

The officers explained they were looking to speak to two women in connection with a burglary and wanted to take a look inside the property.

The 40-year-old refused them entry to her house and went to shut the door.

Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court heard that one police officer then put his foot in the doorway so that the door could not shut and the defendant began pushing on the other side.

The officer tried to restrain her and had to push her away at one point, so as to prevent Graham striking him.

She was then placed into the back of a police van and officers entered her house and found the two women they were looking to speak to inside.

Prosecuting Joanne Hesse said: “Police were investigating a disturbance in Straker Street at 7.30pm and spoke to the complainant who said her property had been burgled. She named two females.

“Police attended an address and knocked on the front door and this defendant answered.

“The officers explained that police were investigating a particular incident and asked if these two females were present inside the house and the defendant replied no.

“Officers said they wished to search the premises and the defendant refused saying they would need a warrant.

“She then tried to close the door on the officers.

“One of the officers put a foot in the doorway to prevent the door from closing and the defendant continued to push on the other side.”

She added: “The defendant was restrained, there was a struggle and the police officer pushed the defendant to prevent her from waving her arms about in order to strike him.

“During this time other officers entered the property and both of the females they were looking for were found in the front room of the property.”

Graham, of Straker Street, pleaded guilty to obstructing a police officer on November 24.

Mitigating, David Smith said his client – who once had a problem with drugs but is now doing well on a low dose of methadone – said: “There is a marked difference between what my client was like a few years ago and what she is like now.

“Plus her daughter is pregnant with twins and it’s given her a real focus.”

He added: “with regards to this offence Miss Graham thought police needed a warrant to search someone’s house and she was rather upset by their rather forthright manner so she wanted to shut the door.”

Justices fined her £70, ordered her to pay £85 costs and a £15 victim surcharge.