Hepatitis C carrier ‘deeply ashamed’ after spitting on police officer

Hepatitis C carrier Rachel Dawn Clark claims she’s “deeply ashamed and incredibly apologetic” after deliberately spitting...

Hepatitis C carrier Rachel Dawn Clark claims she’s “deeply ashamed and incredibly apologetic” after deliberately spitting on a police officer. - Credit: Archant

A hepatitis C carrier has been given a suspended sentence for deliberately spitting on a police officer and laughing as she was being arrested. 

It happened on Rachel Dawn Clark’s 30th birthday on New Year’s Eve 2020. 

Police had been sent to an address in Outwell at about 4pm. 

As Clark was being arrested, she became “hostile”, magistrates in King’s Lynn were told on Thursday. 

She told an officer: “I have a knife on me.” 

He grabbed her arm to prevent her producing anything and there was a struggle as she was handcuffed. 

Clark then spat at the officer, with it landing on his jacket. 

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Prosecutor Michael Devaney told the court: “She laughed at the officer and said ‘you’d better get checked, I’ve got hep C.’ 

“Miss Clark was well aware she was hepatitis C positive.” 

The officer later said that he felt physically sick that she had spat on him on purpose and was concerned for his wellbeing. 

A spit hood was placed on Clark as she was transported to King’s Lynn.  

At one point during the journey, she started hyperventilating but when the hood was removed, she started spitting again and it was put back on. 

Clark said in police interview that she felt “awful” and wanted to apologise for her actions which had followed drinking vodka since 11am. 

She pleaded guilty to assaulting an emergency worker – her third such offence, the court was told. 

Clark, of Suttons Close, Outwell, also admitted possession of 5.71 grams of heroin in Isle Bridge Road, Outwell, on December 11. 

In mitigation, solicitor Ruth Johnson said her client was “deeply ashamed and incredibly apologetic” for the spitting incident and wants to quit drinking. 

“She has managed to significantly reduce the amount of alcohol she drinks. Years ago it was spirits; now it’s a higher strength lager for instance,” said Miss Johnson. 

“She’s clearly going back on that because she was drinking vodka on her 30th birthday.” 

Clark was given 18 weeks’ custody for the assault and two weeks for the drug offence, to run consecutively and be suspended for 12 months. 

She also received a community order with up to 30 rehabilitation activity requirement days and was ordered to pay £150 compensation to the police officer.