A drunk mum who spat into a police officer's mouth in a vile attack has been spared jail – for the sake of her three-year-old daughter.
Katie Harvey, 32, flew into a rage in a police custody suite after she was arrested for a street brawl during the coronavirus lockdown.
The mum-of-one, who has a string of convictions for assaulting police officers, spat into a PC's face while being led to the cells following the attack on May 21.
Harvey, of Walsgrave in Coventry, admitted common assault on an emergency worker.
She was handed a six-month sentence, suspended for two years, and given a 7pm-7am curfew order at Warwick Crown Court on Monday, November 23.
Judge Peter Cooke said: "You will know the way in which judges deal with people who have been spitting at emergency workers during the health crisis.
"People have typically been finding themselves at the receiving end of nine-month sentences.
"This case presents me with the dilemma of whether a three-year-old girl is not going to be seeing her mummy for a few months.
"It is the fourth time she had assaulted a police officer.
"What she needs to understand is that even if she escapes it today, she is going to make such a day in her daughter's life inevitable if she doesn't change her ways."
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Addressing Harvey, the judge told her: "You are not going to prison today, but if you can't sort yourself out once and for all, [your daughter] is going to have to face a day when someone has to explain to her why mummy is not going to be coming home.
"It is the thought of that little girl that has stopped me from doing what I could so easily have done.
"I don't know how many of these spitting cases I have dealt with, but there has only been one before you that has resulted in someone leaving through the front door rather than the door to the cells.
"This type of behaviour is not going to be tolerated.
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"This was a horrible case of its type, spitting straight into the face so that some of it went into his mouth.
"The police officer is a family man who goes home to his family at night, and has rights the same as the rest of us."
The court heard Harvey has eight previous convictions, including four for assaulting police officers and one for spitting at a cop in 2008.
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In her latest attack, the court heard Harvey was arrested by officers for fighting with another woman in the street.
Sally Cairns, prosecuting, said: "When they got to the police station, Harvey was told to sit down and to keep calm, but she responded by baring her teeth at the officers.
"She was taken to the cell area, and as she walked past one of them she spat into his face, with some of it going into his mouth, as well as hitting his face and uniform."
Ian Windridge, mitigating, said Harvey had been shown CCTV of her attack and was "horrified at her actions" claiming she was too drunk to remember doing it.
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