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Sickening moment female thug, 39, loudly coughs at police officer is revealed as she is jailed for five months

Sickening moment female thug, 39, loudly coughs at police officer is revealed as she is jailed for five months
  • Charlene Merrifield, 39, was spotted by police in Hebburn  carrying two bricks
  • Officers were investigating reports a woman with a knife threatened a man 
  • During her arrest on suspicion of affray, Merrifield coughed twice at police 
  • The shocking footage was captured by the officer's body worn video camera
This is the shocking moment a woman coughs on a police officer who was investigating a knife attack. 
Charlene Merrifield, 39, was stopped by officers in South Tyneside after reports that a woman had attacked a man with a knife and had damaged a car. 
When questioned by officers, Merrifield, of no fixed abode, reacted by coughing in their direction.  
Charlene Merrifield, 39, pictured in the back of a Northumbria Police van coughed at an officer who was arresting her on suspicion of affray in Hebburn, south Tyneside
Charlene Merrifield, 39, pictured in the back of a Northumbria Police van coughed at an officer who was arresting her on suspicion of affray in Hebburn, south Tyneside 
Police spotted Merryfield, pictured, carrying two bricks after they received reports of a woman with a knife who had been threatening a man and damaging a car
Police spotted Merryfield, pictured, carrying two bricks after they received reports of a woman with a knife who had been threatening a man and damaging a car
Merrifield was warned against coughing towards the officer during the exchange which was filmed on the Pc's bodycam
Merrifield was warned against coughing towards the officer during the exchange which was filmed on the Pc's bodycam
When warned that she faced a prison sentence for coughing at police, she repeated her action, which was captured on the officer's bodycam. 
In the shocking footage Merrifield, 39, is heard asking the officer: 'Why am I getting arrested?'
He replies: 'Because there has been an allegation you have gone at (a man) with a knife and also damaged his car.
'Apart from that when I came round the corner you were standing in the street going absolutely berserk with two bricks in your hand.
'That is an affray in itself so that is why you are getting arrested.'Merrifield then climbs into the back of the police van only to repeatedly cough at the officer.
Following the incident in Hebburn, on the evening of April 8, she has now been jailed for more than four months.
Chief Inspector Nicola Wearing added: 'Our officers come to work each day in order to keep people safe and protect the communities they serve. They do so knowing they could be faced with potentially dangerous situations.
'However, at a time when our communities across Northumbria are pulling together and showing the incredible spirit that this region is famed for, there remains a small minority who show a total disregard for both the law and the welfare of others.
'Charlene Merrifield knew exactly what she was doing as she decided to intentionally cough at one of our officers, which is absolutely appalling.
Merrifield, pictured, was jailed for a total of 21 months after admitting assault of an emergency worker, criminal damage and a public order offence
Merrifield, pictured, was jailed for a total of 21 months after admitting assault of an emergency worker, criminal damage and a public order offence
'I hope this case highlights how seriously offences of this nature are being taken in the light of the current pandemic.
'I would like to thank the public for their amazing support, as well as our officers, staff and volunteers who are all working together in these difficult and unprecedented times to protect the most vulnerable in our communities.'
Officers had been called to the scene on Lyon Street after a report Merrifield had attempted to attack a man with a knife and caused damage to vehicles.
Police found Merrifield, who was holding two bricks in her hand, nearby.
However, when she was searched by officers, she was not found to be in possession of a knife.
They also discovered a Ford Focus car had been damaged on the street after a windscreen wiper had been snapped off.
A spokesperson for the force said Merrifield was arrested on suspicion of affray, and as she was being detained, she leant forward in the back of the police van and coughed in the direction of a PC.
Merrifield, of no fixed abode, admitted assault of an emergency worker, criminal damage and a public order offence when appearing before magistrates in South Tyneside, along with breach of a suspended sentence.
She was subsequently jailed for 21 weeks.

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