A woman has been jailed after claiming she had coronavirus, licking the windows of a supermarket and threatening to stab a security guard ‘in the f***ing head with a needle’.
Amanda Welch was confronted by staff after being suspected of shoplifting at the Tesco Express store in Liverpool city centre on May 2.
CCTV footage captured Welch, 45, entering the shop, at around 7am, with Thomas Wallace, 50
Liverpool Crown Court heard the security guard told Welch to leave after she threatened him, and he followed her outside with a colleague.
Prosecutor Iain Criddle said: ‘He says she was making a stabbing or jabbing motion towards him with an item that he believed to be a needle.
‘You can certainly see a sharp point. He was with a colleague at that time – as a result both went back inside the store and shut the door.
‘The defendant then kicked the door and licked and spat at the windows, explaining that she had coronavirus and that she wanted to give it to the staff.’
The court heard Welch left the scene but police were called and arrested her in Smithfield Street, after she tried to escape, but was handcuffed.
Questioned whether she had anything she produced a screwdriver, but denied having any needles, and asked if she could smoke a cigarette in her pocket.
The officer refused and Welch became ‘angry and aggressive’ so was put in a police car, but then started being abusive to a young female officer.
Mr Criddle said: ‘She was screaming and shouting to the extent that she was actually spitting over the officers.’
The officers put a spit hood on Welch and told her if she spat in the caged vehicle she would be arrested for criminal damage, but she put her head between her legs and managed to remove it.
Welch, of Crompton Street, Vauxhall, was searched at a police station, when officers found two needles hidden in her sock.
She denied attacking Tesco staff, making threats, jabbing towards the guard and kicking, licking or spitting at windows, but accepted being ‘annoying’.
The security guard told the court he genuinely feared he was going to be stabbed and was worried he would contract a life changing illness.
He said he was scratched during the incident and was still having to wait on the result of some tests, but thankfully tested negative for Covid-19.
The police officer said she was new to the job and had never dealt with someone like this before, which knocked the confidence she was building.
Welch admitted affray and assaulting an emergency worker.
Amy Butler, defending, said her client was ‘not of sound mind at the time’ but is willing to change and become a
She said Welch had two children, who she doesn’t see at the moment but ‘wants to be a good role model to’, and was willing to change.
Judge Gary Woodhall said a needle was a ‘particularly worrying and frightening weapon’ because of ‘the potential to contract life changing illnesses’.
He added: ‘Behaviour like that, spitting towards people, where those people are working in the present pandemic, brings with it a real concern and a risk of contracting life changing illnesses.’
Jailing her for seven months, Judge Woodhall said: ‘These offences were committed during a health crisis.
‘They were each committed against key workers or emergency workers who require protection.’
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