3:00pm Saturday 4th May 2013
A SERVING soldier on leave from Afghanistan ‘kicked off’ in the Accident and Emergency unit at Royal Blackburn Hospital.
Magistrates heard Kayleigh Holden used foul and abusive language in front of a family which had just suffered a bereavement and was disrespectful to a police officer and a nurse who had both seen active service.
And when a police officer eventually felt she had no alternative but to arrest Holden she was punched by the military dog handler.
Holden, 22, of Moore Street, Nelson, pleaded guilty to being drunk and disorderly in the hospital and assaulting a police officer when she appeared at Blackburn Magistrates Courtt.
She was fined £450 and ordered to pay £150 compensation to the officer and £125 costs.
The court heard Holden may now face a charge of bringing the army into disrepute when she returns to her unit in Germany.
Catherine Allan, prosecuting, said Holden was clearly in an intoxicated state when she was taken to the A&E department by ambulance.
The police were called because of her rowdy behaviour which was upsetting a family which had just suffered a bereavement and other patients.
Miss Allan said: “She proudly stated that she was serving in Afghanistan and an officer explained that he had served in Iraq but it was no excuse for her behaviour.
“She was abusive to him and when a nurse said she was in the TA and had also served in Afghanistan she was abusive about the TA.
Miss Holden was with her mother and a friend who both tried to calm her down.
“Her behaviour was appalling and she was given many opportunities to leave before she was eventually arrested for being drunk and disorderly,” said Miss Allan.
“She struggled violently with the officers even after she had been taken to the ground.
An officer had to sit on the defendant to stop her biting her and she was told to stop making a fool of herself.
“She showed no respect for the other people in the hospital or for her mother who was stood there crying while all this was going on,” said Miss Allan.
Andrew Church-Taylor, defending, said at the time of the offence in February Holden was on leave in the UK before returning to Afghanistan.
She had gone out with a friend and while in a club in Burnley had fallen and been knocked unconscious.
“She recalls very little of the events that followed,” said Mr Church-Taylor.
“She recalls being in the nightclub and then waking up in A& E and being asked certain personal details. She could only remember her name. She couldn’t remember her address or her date of birth and that caused her to panic.”
Mr Church-Taylor said Holden was not usually a drinker and was not the sort of person who would set out to be disrespectful to a police officer or anyone in uniform.
Captain Laura Riley, Holden’s commanding officer, described her as a diligent soldier who was normally polite and deferential to those in uniform.
“This incident was totally out of character for her,” said Captain Riley.
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