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'Despicable' University of Brighton lecturer, 55, avoids jail after spitting at police and telling them she has coronavirus when they arrest her

'Despicable' University of Brighton lecturer, 55, avoids jail after spitting at police and telling them she has coronavirus when they arrest her
A 'despicable' university lecturer avoided jail after spitting at police and telling them she had coronavirus while being arrested.
Jane Challenger-Gillett, 55, breathed in and then spat at officers who attended her home in Brighton.
The University of Brighton senior lecturer, also known as Jane Challenger-Gillitt, appeared before Brighton Magistrates' Court and admitted two offences.
Jane Challenger-Gillett, 55, also known as Jane Challenger Gillitt, was handed a six-month suspended sentence after spitting at two police officers who attended her home in Brighton
Jane Challenger-Gillett, 55, also known as Jane Challenger Gillitt, was handed a six-month suspended sentence after spitting at two police officers who attended her home in Brighton
It was revealed she was in breach of a community order for abusing and assaulting officers who responded to a disturbance in October.
On April 1 she spat at police officers Alexander Ferguson and Stuart Ellis.
But she was spared a prison sentence because she is the sole carer for a 'vulnerable' partner and has been battling an alcohol problem.
Challenger-Gillett is a senior lecturer in computing, engineering and maths.
She previously appeared in court in September 2018 for failing to provide a breath test when suspected of drink-driving.
She also assaulted a police officer, and was given a 20-week suspended prison sentence alongside a driving ban.
Then she appeared back in court in October for breaching a restraining order by brandishing a knife and shouting at a neighbour.
When police arrived she attacked them and two more officers in custody.
She was also convicted of assaulting two police officers at a beach in Brighton.
At Brighton Magistrates' Court, District Judge Tessa Szagun heard how Challenger-Gillett told officers she had coronavirus.
She 'used the threat of Covid-19 to gain an advantage over persons protecting the public', the court heard.
It was described as 'particularly despicable'. She breathed in and spat at the officers, causing fear to them and their families about the infection.
The court also noted that police numbers are stretched with absences as officers self-isolate.
District Judge Szagun imposed a six-month suspended sentence because of Challenger-Gillett's 'family circumstances' as the sole provider for her vulnerable partner.
Her previous convictions showed her 'inability to moderate her drinking', the court heard.
Challenger-Gillett was ordered to complete nine months of alcohol dependency treatment and pay £500 in compensation to each officer, with a £122 surcharge and £85 costs.
The University of Brighton confirmed she still worked there and stated: 'We are aware of the information that is in the public domain and we will be investigating this further.'

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