A WOMAN attacked several police officers, biting one, after her arrest during an English Defence League rally, a court heard.

Police initially went to the aid of Antonia Claire Evans, who was suffering a suspected broken arm after a scuffle during the demonstration, in November last year.

However, Durham Crown Court heard that a stand-off developed, before the officers tried to lift Evans out through the crowd.

Rachel Masters, prosecuting, said Evans shouted and swore and, despite her injury, lashed out at the officers with her injured arm.

She punched another officer in the groin and headbutted a third after they tried to pin her to the ground.

Amid efforts to put her into a police van, to remove her and place her in a cell at a police station, she continued to struggle, biting a custody officer’s index finger.

Miss Masters said the officer had to hit her three times to make her release her grip.

The officer’s finger was cut by the bite, while another officer lost clumps of hair grabbed by Evans during the struggle.

Miss Masters said the arrest at the rally, in Preston, Lancashire, was the culmination of a series of incidents involving Evans.

It included biting a security guard in the chest on June 3 as he tried to detain her outside the Tesco shop in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, on suspicion of shoplifting.

In a further incident, in October, she set a Staffordshire bull terrier and an alsatian on her then partner as he left her home in Newton Aycliffe after a row.

Miss Masters said both dogs attacked and bit the man several times, while she landed several punches.

Evans, 24, of Mellanby Crescent, admitted four charges of assault causing actual bodily harm, three of common assault and being the owner of a dog dangerously out of control.

Julie Clemitson, for Evans, said she has spent 123 days in custody, during which time she has progressed with psychiatric assistance.

Judge John Evans said that because of the time she had spent in custody, he could pass a prison sentence of 51 weeks, suspended for two years.

She must undergo 12 months of probation supervision, to include sessions addressing alcohol misuse, while continuing to receive psychiatric help.

She was also banned from owning dogs for seven years.