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Hampshire Police Federation

Federation hit out at lack of sentencing for repeat offender who assaulted five police officers

3 February 2021

Hampshire Police Federation has hit out at magistrates who allowed a woman to walk free from court - despite assaulting five police officers in Portsmouth.

Karen Kenny spat at and lashed out at police officers during the incident on July 29. She admitted five charges of assaulting emergency workers at Portsmouth Magistrates Court this week.

Kenny, 35, of Churchill Avenue, Bishop's Waltham, has been sentenced to an eight-week jail term suspended for 18 months and has been ordered to complete an anger management course.

She must also pay £200 compensation, a £120 victim surcharge and £85 costs and carry out 100 hours' unpaid work.

Zöe Wakefield, Hampshire Federation Chair, said she was “hugely frustrated and disillusioned” by the sentence.

She said: “Kenny admitted five assaults on emergency workers. Is that not enough to warrant a prison sentence? Spitting at police officers is vile and disgusting at any time but during a pandemic, the potential consequences are far greater.

"Police officers are working hard to protect the public. The courts should be imposing harsher sentences at a time of increased risk to officers and the public.”

Zöe has been calling for police officers to be prioritised for the Covid vaccine as forces see more and more officers fall ill with the virus.

She added: “Sadly there is an element of society who will always want to attack the police. They are now using the virus as a weapon by coughing, spitting and biting at officers.

“This is dangerous, disgusting and completely unacceptable. Many officers have children or family members who are shielding at home. The fear of taking the virus home with potentially fatal consequences."