Petra Clyde, 41, sunk her teeth into the left forearm of policewoman Jane Donlan during a violent struggle as the officer was trying to detain for assaulting another woman
A drink and drug crazed woman has been jailed after biting a female police officer on the arm during a street attack in which she was seen ‘foaming at the mouth’.
Petra Clyde, 41, sunk her teeth into the left forearm of officer Jane Donlan during a violent struggle in busy Manchester city centre.
But despite the ferocity of the attack, which took place as PC Donlan attempted to arrest Clyde for allegedly assaulting another woman, onlookers refused to intervene.
Witness said the crowd began ‘screaming and cheering as if at a football match.’
Shocked passer-by Lynne Fogarty eventually stepped in and held down Clyde’s legs while the officer broke free.
PC Donlan, who said she had never been so frightened in her 13 years with Greater Manchester Police, was later treated for a ‘human bite wound’. She had to have both hepatitis and tetanus jabs.
Now Cylde, of Stalybridge, Greater Manchester, has been jailed for two years after admitting assault occasioning actual bodily harm and resisting arrest.
The court heard the incident in Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester, while protests took place while Clyde and her twin sister were drinking heavily and taking the synthetic cannabinoid Spice.
Police meanwhile were helping marshal protesters who were demonstrating against the sexual abuse of children.
Prosecutor Neil Usher said: ‘A member of the public notified two police officers that this defendant and her sister were assaulting another female.
PC Donlan was later treated for a ‘human bite wound’ which drew blood and she had to undergo a hepatitis and tetanus jab
‘The two officers saw the women over a female who was lying on the floor and being repeatedly punching the victim.
‘PC Donlan describes how the twin sisters are well known to the police for their anti-social behaviour and because from their experience, the two sisters use spice and abuse alcohol.
‘The officers intervened but this defendant resisted arrest and struck PC Donlan in the face.
‘When the female officer tried to get her handcuffs, the defendant ran away but then returned to the area.
‘PC Dolman again tried to place her under arrest but was punched. The defendant then tried to kick and punch the officer before succeeding in biting her forearm causing bite marks which bled.
‘The bite lasted five seconds and the officer utilised her CS spray. The other officers attended and the officer was treated for her injuries at the MRI.’
Mr Usher said the the bite caused skin loss and doctors were initially unable to close the wound due to a high risk of infection.
PC Donlan was forced to have a hepatitis B booster and the tetanus jab as well as antibiotics.
Mr Usher said: ‘The defendant admitted biting the officer in interview, but said it wasn’t on purpose as the officer had put her weight onto her.
‘She said the victim had originally been attacking her sister, she denied being intoxicated and on any form of drugs.
‘This attack took place in a very public place and led to a reaction from some members of the public who were there, which would have made the incident more difficult for the officers.’
He said the incident had occurred amid ‘tensions’ in Manchester over the death of Afro-American man George Floyd at the hands of US police officers in Minneapolis.
‘It was shortly after that the public concern over the George Floyd incident and that seems to be referred to by some of the public as heightening the tension – but maybe they didn’t exactly know what was going on.
The incident occurred on August 22 last year whilst Clyde (pictured both left and right) and her twin sister were drinking heavily and taking Spice while police were helping marshall protesters who were demonstrating against the sexual abuse of children
‘Miss Fogarty saw the incident and was very concerned and helped intervene by restraining the defendant’s legs as she worried the officer was going to be further hurt.’
Miss Fogarty said: ‘The crowd was screaming and cheering and it was disgusting.
‘The woman being arrested was foaming at the mouth and looked like she was on drugs, yet the crowd were acting as if they were at a football match.
‘I was disgusted at humanity that no one was helping the officer.’
At Minshull Street Crown Court, Manchester, Miss Fogarty was awarded for £50 out of public funds for her bravery in helping rescue the officer.
Mitigating for Cylde, defence counsel Rachel White said her client was a ‘vulnerable person’ and that her ‘lifestyle choices’ made her ‘even more vulnerable’.
‘She expresses her regret and she understands that she over reacted in clearly using violence to remove the officer from her,’ Ms White said.
‘She has led a life led by loss but says she wants to get back to her family and to begin to make changes,’ she added.
Sentencing Clyde, Judge Anthony Cross QC said: ‘Police officers have the hardest job imaginable in trying to police Manchester’s Piccadilly.
‘PC Donlan says in her own statement that she was as frightened as she has ever been in 13 years in the job.
‘This is a police constable who is currently employed by the police, but she initially gave her service to the city for free out of public duty.
‘She then became a police and community support officer and she spent most of her time working in the city centre, so she has seen a lot and she was frightened by you.
‘I’m afraid I would be completely failing in my public duty, were I not to send you to prison.
‘This was a serious incident, which could have been much worse.’
Alongside her two year jail sentence, Clyde was also issued with a five year Criminal Behaviour Order.
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