A DRUNKEN woman who spat in police officer's face after she attempted to wake her up has been jailed.

Jodie Hopper was already facing a charge of possession of a bladed article after she brandished a pair of scissors when she carried out the 'terrifying' act.

The 29-year-old is second woman to be jailed in the last two days following coughing or spitting assaults on police officers during the ongoing Covid 19 pandemic.

Judge Jonathan Carroll, sitting at Teesside Crown Court, said: "You spat in the officer's face, that spit landing on the officer's lip and face, that is in the context of the current Covid 19 pandemic. It is no understatement to say that this pandemic is a period of national crisis and key workers are having to go out into the world and do their job on behalf of us all.

"It doesn't just cover the outstanding work of the health service but the much less appreciated but fundamental work of our police officers who are going out day after day after day into difficult circumstances and doing their job and putting themselves in harms way.

"To be spat in the face, an exchange of bodily fluid, when we know how easily Covid 19 is transferred, must have been a truly terrifying experience for the officer."

She was jailed for ten months and three weeks after she pleaded guilty to several charges, including assaulting an emergency worker, possession of a bladed article and possession of cannabis and amphetamine.

Jane Waugh, prosecuting, told the court how Hopper was arrested last July when she was spotted behaving in an aggressive manner as she walked around the Cheriton Green area of Middlesbrough.

When officers arrested her they discovered a pair of scissors, which she told them she carried for her own protection, and cannabis and amphetamine.

The second set of charges came about on March 28 when police were called to an address at Bolton court, Middlesbrough, following the report of a serious incident not connected to the defendant.

Miss Waugh said Hopper reacted badly to being woken up and pushed an officer before spitting in her face.

Reading from the officer's victim impact statement, she said: "She made the conscious decision to assault me by spitting at my face, no officer should have to endure this kind of abuse."

The officer said she felt Hopper's actions were 'malicious' as she knew exactly what she was doing.

In mitigation, Alex Bousfield said his client was under the influence at the time and apologised for spitting at the officer after she was arrested.