Woman jailed for 'HIV spit' in Essex policeman's mouth

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image captionGaley Green backs on to Afton Drive and Bovey Way in South Ockendon

A woman has been jailed for spitting in a police officer's mouth and telling him she was HIV positive.

Rachael Jeffrey admitted assaulting three officers in Galey Green, South Ockendon, on Sunday evening.

The 25-year-old spat in the officer's mouth and said she hoped he got HIV as well, Southend magistrates heard. He had to have anti-viral treatment.

Jeffrey was sentenced to 29 weeks in total due to the activation of a number of suspended prison sentences.

She was also ordered to pay £370 compensation to the officers.

'Completely unacceptable'

Officers had been called to the area over reports of a damaged fence when Jeffrey, of Arcany Road in the village, attacked the officers.

She also admitted damaging a Ford Focus police car and causing damage to the fence.

Essex Police said they were unable to confirm whether Jeffrey was HIV-positive.

A force spokesman said the officer who had been spat at had been discharged from hospital, but would undergo regular checks.

Deborah Gold, chief executive of National AIDS Trust, said that HIV could not be transmitted via spitting.

The latest crimes caused Jeffrey's suspended sentences to be activated from previous court appearances.

These offences were for assaulting a woman in South Ockendon in 2015, assaulting a man at Grays railway station in 2015, and for shoplifting.

At various points this year she stole candles, a printer and other items, worth a total of £1,175, from Boots in Chelmsford and Love Aroma at Lakeside shopping centre in West Thurrock.

Assistant Chief Constable Andy Prophet said: "Every day our officers show courage and professionalism by putting themselves in harm's way to protect others.

"This is completely unacceptable."

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