Crime victim arrested for abusing police

A HEART patient who claims she was the victim of a robbery ended up being arrested by police for her drunken behaviour.

Lorraine Griffiths said she had been out drinking when someone snatched her handbag – which contained medication for her heart condition as well as some cash.

She told Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court that she suffered facial injuries in the robbery which left blood stains on her face.

Following the attack, the 49-year-old got out of a taxi in Victoria Road, Hartlepool, where passing police officers became concerned about her injuries and went to her aid, justices heard.

As they began to talk to her, Griffiths started to shout abuse at the officers and passing revellers.

She would not calm down and was waving her arms around in a “threatening” manner, resulting in her being arrested for being drunk and disorderly.

Prosecutor Joanne Hesse told the court: “It was 12.40am on Victoria Road, in Hartlepool, when police saw the defendant getting out of a taxi. Officers were concerned as she had blood staining on her face.

“She was approached and spoken to but began to shout abuse at the officers and members of the public.

“Officers attempted to calm her down but she continued with her behaviour waving her arms around in a threatening manner.

“She was arrested for being drunk and disorderly.”

The court heard the defendant had no previous convictions or cautions recorded against her, but did have two fixed penalty notices for disorderly behaviour from 2007 and 2008.

She pleaded guilty to being drunk and disorderly on Saturday, March 5, when she appeared in court.

Mitigating, Martin Scarborough said his client’s behaviour was due to being annoyed as a result of having consumed some alcohol and the attack.

He said: “Police go to speak to people who they believe are the victims of crime and they end up getting arrested.

“She did have blood and scratches on her face as a result of having her handbag snatched, being the victim of a robbery.

“Her heart medication was taken away and some cash. She’s hazy in recalling exactly what happened because she had had some drink, but she got a taxi and believed she was on her way to the police station.

“When the police approached her she was trying to tell them what had happened too forcefully, and she does accept she was probably shouting and swearing and was arrested.”

He added: “Now she ends up losing her good character because she was very upset and angry at what had happened to her.

“Unfortunately she’d taken her frustrations out on the police officers when they approached her.

“If they had not approached her none of this might have happened.”

Chairman of the bench John Glancey fined Griffiths, of Ridlington Way, Hart Station, Hartlepool, £30, ordered her to pay £40 costs and a £15 victim surcharge.