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Police use Captor spray to subdue raging woman

Officers took defendant to the floor in handcuffs

John Garvey


01635 886628


POLICE officers were forced to use the incapacitant spray, Captor, to subdue a raging woman in Newbury town centre.

Only when she was taken to the floor and placed in handcuffs were officers able to arrest 30-year-old Leonorah Horn, Reading magistrates heard on Thursday, January 12.

The spray, used by Thames Valley Police, causes severe pain to the eyes, as if the subject is being scalded.

Andy Callander, prosecuting, said: “It was 6.30pm in Bartholomew Street when police had cause to arrest a male.

“This defendant then became involved. She was very agitated and an officer had to use a straight arm bar to force this lady to the floor.”

As she continued to rage and struggle, the court heard, “officers used a short burst of Captor spray and she was placed in handcuffs once it took effect”.

Ms Horn, of Newtown Road, admitted obstructing or resisting an officer in the execution of their duty on December 11 last year.

She further admitted breaching a conditional discharge, imposed for an offence of theft.

Steve Molloy, defending, said: “It’s the old story of someone objecting to an arrest and getting arrested themselves, unfortunately.

“She had been working as a cleaner for Marks and Spencer for three years, but lost that job recently.”

Mr Molloy added: “The person being arrested was her partner at the time, now her former partner. She now has a restraining order against him.

“Given her size and stature, it’s perhaps surprising that two officers needed to take her to the floor and spray her in the face – it seems, on the Crown’s own evidence, that the officers may have over-reacted.”

A probation officer said Ms Horn was “well-mannered and co-operative”, but that alcohol was currently a “significant problem” for her.

Magistrates made Ms Horn subject to a 12-month community order with alcohol treatment and rehabilitation activity requirements.

In addition she was ordered to pay £85 costs, plus a statutory victim services surcharge of £40.

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