A BLM protester who spat on a police officer’s face during a demonstration in London has been ‘let off’ by magistrates because she apologised for the vile and degrading act.
Magistrate Andrew Hammond told Halina Kaszycka-Williams, 31, ‘I hope you recognise we are treating you more leniently than even your own advocate suggested’.
The artist, who runs a ‘creative workshop to enhance digital literacy’, spat at PC Sam Franks during a Notting Hill Black Lives Matter back march in May 2020.
After being arrested for assault on police, Kaszycka-Williams was also found to be in possession of cocaine.
Kaszycka-Williams‘ lawyer, Danielle Manson, read a prepared statement on behalf of Kaszycka-Williams. The prepared statement read:
‘On May 31, I attended the Black Lives Matter protests in London.
‘I have witnessed the effects of systemic racism my entire life.
‘As a black woman, witnessing the death of so many other black people was a deeply traumatic time for me.
‘There were years of anger and hurt, and disrespect I had not reacted to until that day.
‘With the stress of the perpetual news cycle on COVID and mass protests…. my mental health was already at breaking point.
‘I would like to apologise.’
Ms Manson added: ‘It’s very clear the intention was to spit on PC Franks’ back, there was never any intention to spit directly in his face.
‘It was her intention to humiliate the officer almost akin to sticking a sign on his back – something others can see but not him.
‘She wasn’t symptomatic.’
It is not clear as to whether or not the police officer who was spat on had to take time off of work as he waited for the results of various contagious diseases checks to come back.
Such checks are standard practice when a member of the emergency services has spit, blood or other bodily fluids aimed or directed at their face.
During the hearing, Magistrate Mr Hammond told Kaszycka-Williams:
‘Police officers are entitled to go to work free from the fear of being spat at.
‘We note your apology… and the community work we have been told you do.
‘Because of that mitigation… we think it is just in this instance acceptable for you to be dealt with by way of a conditional discharge by way of the offence of beating an emergency worker.’
Kaszycka-Williams, of Woodvale, East Dulwich, admitted one count of assault by beating and one count of possession of cocaine.
She was granted a 12-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay a fine of £565 for the cocaine. The police officer was not awarded any compensation.
Talking about the outcome, former police officer and policing analyst, Graham Wettone, said:
“Just astonishing – I’m not after mandatory custodial sentence for every assault but magistrates must support policing.
“The lack of any actual punishment such as community service, compensation or suspended custodial sentence sends out completely the wrong message.
“A conditional discharge is nothing & coupled with possession of class A drugs being dealt with by way of a fine.
“Spitting is a vile offence & no one should be subject to that type of assault.
“This is far too lenient and it’s exactly sentences like this that have contributed to a significant rise in assaults on emergency workers”.
To read more about the recent assaults which have been inflicted upon emergency services personnel, especially during the pandemic, then click here.
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