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Kill the Bill: Rioter who spat at police as Covid raged is jailed

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Francesca Horn, of Montpelier,Image source, Avon and Somerset Constabulary
Image caption,
Horn, of Montpelier, was "clearly delighting" in her actions, the judge said

A rioter who spat at officers as Covid rampaged across the country has been jailed for five years and 10 months.

Francesca Horn, of Montpelier, Bristol, was sentenced on Friday after being found guilty of riot in April.

The 25-year-old is among 18 people who have been jailed for a combined total of more than 71 years for the disorder which followed a Kill the Bill protest.

Judge Patrick told Bristol Crown Court that her offending had a "devastating effect".

Footage gathered by the investigation team showed Horn striking officers with wooden sticks, kicking out and spitting.

She also took hold of a police shield and used it to ram officers.

'Corrosive offending'

The violence erupted at Bridewell Police Station on 21 March last year after thousands of people peacefully protested in Bristol against the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.

At the time people in England were encouraged to stay at home and strict Covid rules were in place while the vaccine rollout gathered pace, according to the Government website.

Image source, Avon and Somerset Police
Image caption,
The riots took place outside Bridewell Police Station

Sentencing Horn, Judge Patrick told her she was "clearly delighting in what you were doing".

He added: "You spat at officers during a pandemic. You attacked police lines, kicking officers and rocked a police van.

"You used a number of weapons and you tore a wing mirror off a van and you threw two shields at officers."

'Unacceptable behaviour'

Det Supt James Riccio, from Avon and Somerset Police, said the sentence reflected the "gratuitous and corrosive offending Horn carried out on that night".

"She spat at officers, with one of them describing at the trial how she'd never been spat at before, and given the COVID-19 pandemic was ongoing, it left her feeling worried and upset," he added.

"This is wholly unacceptable behaviour."

Horn denied the charges but was found guilty following a three day trial.

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