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Woman gets jail term for punching doctor as judge says ‘zero tolerance’ is needed

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A woman who punched a doctor leaving him with a sore ear after he said he could not give her medication she was demanding has been given a four months jail term by a judge who who said there had to be “zero tolerance” to such attacks.

Elizabeth White (23), of Ramsey Park in Macosquin, assaulted the doctor during an appointment in Coleraine on March 13 this year.

Four days later, after sniffing gas in a flat in Belfast she assaulted a man – who didn’t press charges – but then attacked a police officer causing an injury to his nose and damaging his glasses.

White told the officer she had not hit him “f**king hard enough” and added: “You will get more than a f**king black eye, I’m a southpaw”.

She was found to be in possession of a canister of butane gas.

The court heard she was laughing during a police interview and showed no remorse.

The defendant was in Coleraine Magistrates Court on Monday for sentencing on charges of assault, assault on police and criminal damage to a pair of glasses which had had previously pleaded guilty to.

A defence lawyer said the defendant was “deeply ashamed” and wished to apologise.

He said she had long-standing addiction issues.

The court heard the defendant’s mother passed away last week.

Deputy District Judge Philip Mateer said whilst he took into account the death of the defendant’s mother, White had assaulted a doctor who was trying to help her and then had assaulted a police officer.

“Courts take a zero tolerance approach to assaults on medical practitioners and indeed public servants like the police,” the judge said.

He noted the defendant had 16 previous convictions at the age of 23 including public order, disorderly behaviour, assault, dangerous driving, supply and possession of drugs, threats to kill and burglary.

White was given a four months jail term but was released on £500 bail pending appeal.

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