'You deserve prison' - Judge allows woman who attacked seven police officers to walk free

A violent woman who punched, kicked, bit and spat at seven police officers in two separate incident has been spared jail, despite the judge she saying she 'richly deserved it'.

Thursday, 5th August 2021, 4:30 pm

Tazmin Halkyard, who is homeless, also smashed up a room at the Premier Inn in Castleford causing £2,000 worth of damage and threatened to smash a bottle over the head of a shop manager when she tried to stop her shoplifting.

The 21-year-old, who was held on remand at HMP New Hall, admitted seven counts of assault on emergency workers, assaulting a female, criminal damage, resisting arrest and theft from a shop.

Prosecuting the case at Leeds Crown Court, David Ward said police had been called to Robin Hood Street in Castleford in the early hours of April 1 following a disturbance involving Halkyard and her boyfriend, after she apparently smashed a bottle over his head.

Halkyard admitted assaulting seven officers. (library pic)

It took five officers to restrain her when she began to struggle. She began kicking out and trying to bite before spitting at them.

Pepper spray was used, but had little effect, and so a spit hood was put on her. She managed to kick two officers and bit another when being placed into the van.

At the police station she kicked, spat and bit at other officers.

On May 15, she was then caught trying to steal a bottle of lager worth £2.20 from Tesco on Fryston Road in Castleford.

After being challenged for ID when she tried buy the lager, she then made a run for the door but was grabbed by shop manager who then let go when Halkyard threatened to smash to bottle on her head.

Then, five days later, complaints from other guests were made about the noise coming from her room at the Premier Inn, including sounds of screaming, crying and banging.

She was arrested after she tried to leave the hotel.

The curtains had been ripped down in her hotel room, the windows broken, holes punched into the walls and all of its lights and electric fittings destroyed.

When the police stopped her, she pulled the hair of one officer and bit another when she was being taken to her cell at the station.

When she refused to leave her cell for an interview, two officers went in to speak with her and she bit one and punched the other.

The court was told that she has previous convictions for assault on an officer and being drunk and disorderly.

Lauren Hebditch, mitigating, said Halkyard had drug and alcohol issues, and suffered from psychosis which required addressing.

She said after losing her accommodation, Halkyard was placed in the hotel, stopped taking her medication and was drinking heavily and taking drugs to 'self medicate'.

Ms Hebditch said: "She feels extremely remorseful and does not even recognise herself when under the influence of substances.

"She has been on remand for 11 weeks, and she has used her time to reflect on her actions.

"She wants turn her life around. She wants to have a positive future."

Judge Simon Baptiste told her that she "richly deserved" to go to prison, but said he would throw her a lifeline.

He said: "You have spent roughly two-and-a-half months in custody.

"I'm going to give you a chance, but one chance only.

"If you throw it away, I will lock you up. It won't be an excuse that you were drunk or high at the time, or have mental health issues."

He gave her a 15-month jail sentence, but suspended it for two years and ordered her to take part in two courses to address her behaviour.