Published: 00:01, 22 October 2015
A police officer had to go to a London hospital to be checked for hepatitis C after she was attacked by a drug addict, a court heard.
Claire Derbyshire was off duty when she went to the aid of a woman who was being robbed by Carley Sudlow.
She was walking along City Way towards Rochester train station on the morning of July 29 this year when she spotted 36-year-old Sudlow, said to have the “characteristics of a drug user”.
Prosecutor Bridget Todd said the officer saw Sudlow approach a young woman as she walked across Jacksons Field.
"It must have been a horrible thing for the officer to have to go to be checked out for hepatitis C. It is an aggravating feature that she has put that officer at risk" - Judge Philip Statman
The woman, Saffron Tomlin, was listening to music through earphones as she walked to work.
Sudlow walked up behind her and grabbed her arm. Miss Tomlin took one of her earphones out.
Sudlow told her repeatedly: “Give me everything you have got and you can walk away with your life.”
The victim was so scared she took about £18 out of her pocket and handed it over.
Sudlow kept hold of her arm.
When PC Derbyshire approached Sudlow pretended to be nice to the victim. But Miss Tomlin told the officer she was being threatened.
PC Derbyshire explained who she was and tried to detain Sudlow, but she tried to fight her off.
“The officer had hold of her wrists and Miss Sudlow began to dig her nails into them,” Miss Todd told Maidstone Crown Court. “It was extremely painful.
“There came a point when the defendant put her head down and put her mouth around her wrist. At that point the officer let go and told her not to bite her.”
A man approached and shouted: “Carley, what are you doing?”
Miss Todd said because Sudlow had hepatitis C and saliva had gone into the officer’s wound she went to hospital and was given antibiotics.
She was given the all-clear.
Sudlow, of St Williams Way, Rochester, was jailed for 20 months after she admitted robbery and assault causing actual bodily harm.
Miss Todd said Sudlow had a long list of drug-related convictions.
Judge Philip Statman said: “It must have been a horrible thing for the officer to have to go to be checked out for hepatitis C.
“It is an aggravating feature that she has put that officer at risk. It is a very unattractive assault on a very brave officer.”
Tom Stern, defending, said the biggest element of Sudlow’s life was her chronic drug dependency involving heroin and crack cocaine, which began in her teens.
“Twenty years of her life have been characterised by the struggle and chaos of her addiction,” he said.
“She knows she needs to change things.”