A SIMMERING neighbours dispute spilled over into violence as a Carlisle woman assaulted the two police officers who were questioning her.

Carol Ann Oliver, 64, first lunged at one of the police constables as she attempted to scratch and gouge his face and then, while being restrained by a second officer, she scratched him on the wrist, magistrates heard.

Oliver, of South Street, Carlisle, admitted two counts of assaulting an emergency worker. Prosecutor Peter Kelly told Carlisle’s Rickergate court what happened.

The two officers were sent to the defendant’s home on December 17 last year with the intention of arresting Oliver, said Mr Kelly. The police became involved because there had been “shouting through the walls” between Oliver and her neighbour.

 “While they were speaking to her, telling her she would be arrested and taken to the station, she lunged towards [the first officer],” said the prosecutor.

“She used her left hand to scratch and gouge at the officer’s face.”

Oliver was pushed against a wall as the officer and his colleague attempted to restrain her. It was as the second officer was helping his colleague that Oliver scratched him.

The officer who was first assaulted said he had done the job for seven years and, having made numerous arrests during that time, he felt that he always dealt with people respectfully.

“She assaulted me for no reason at all – other than her inability to control her anger,” he said. The officer said he had been assaulted for simply doing his job and what happened left him shaken.

John Smith, defending, said that when she was interviewed Oliver had admitted scratching one officer and kicking another and she had apologised for the assaults.

Describing the circumstances, Mr Smith said the two officers had been responding to a call from one of the defendant’s neighbours about shouting at the address. “It’s clear there have been problems between Carol Oliver and her neighbours in the past.

“I do not want to blame the neighbours; and I do not want to blame Carol Oliver, but from her point of view it appears that the neighbours are causing her problems…

“She would like the court to do something about changing her address. She wants it to be picked up by somebody somewhere, perhaps at Riverside, in the hope of getting her address changed.”

Mr Smith said that Oliver had sustained bruising to her chin after being pushed against a wall by the police officers. After the incident, continued Mr Smith, Oliver had been taken to a hospital in Gosforth and remained there for a month.

“She clearly has mental health problems,” he added.

The defendant’s daughter, sitting with her mother in court, told magistrates that Oliver needed to have help put in place for the safety of the defendant and for the safety of others.

Magistrates imposed a £240 fine, ordering that Oliver must pay each of the officers she assaulted £50 compensation.

There was no order for costs. As the case ended, Oliver told magistrates: “Why not take it all till I’ve nothing left and put me on the street? Why don’t you just do that?”