A TEENAGE girl with a history of assaulting police officers has been locked up for 40 weeks after breaking an officer’s hand.

Annabelle Forbes, 19, of South Avenue, Southend, was arrested after police found her on their car bonnet damaging the aerial.

Following the incident outside Southend Hospital she was taken to Rayleigh police station, where a female police officer attempted to search her.

During the search on September 12, Forbes pushed the officer to the ground - causing her to break her hand.

She admitted criminal damage to the value of £50 and assault occasioning actual bodily harm when she appeared at Southend Magistrates Court.

Magistrates sent her to a young offenders institution for a total of 18 weeks and ordered her to pay £250 compensation.

The court heard Forbes was already serving suspended sentences for assaults on six other police officers, which have now been implemented.

Steve Taylor, chairman of Essex Police Federation, said he hopes the sentence will act as a deterrent.

He said: “Assaults on police officers should be taken as seriously as assaults on members of the public.

“An assault on a police officer is an assault on society itself.

“In this case, the courts have seen fit to issue the sanction and hopefully she will be rehabilitated by the prison service.

“We have got to have faith that she will be and hopefully this individual will reflect on the error of her ways and modify her behaviour.

“But I’m sure there are many people out there in society who don’t think much about assaulting officers.

“Because of the role that my colleagues perform many have the view that an assault is par for the course or to be expected.

“But just because they deal with violent people it doesn’t mean they should expect to be assaulted while doing their job.

“The same applies to PCSOs, prison and court officers.”

Forbes first assaulted two police officers, PC Richards and PC Greenless, in Basildon on December 13 - when she was just 18-years-old

She was originally handed a four week suspended sentence.

On March 15, Forbes was found in possession of cannabis in Southend and assaulted PC Slade during her arrest.

Again, she was given four a week sentence, suspended.

Police arrested Forbes once more on March 26 after she damaged the wing mirror of a patrol car, assaulting PC Hopgood in the process and receiving another four week suspended sentence.

Forbes committed two further assaults on PC Hagon and PC Burle in Southend on August 3, landing her another four week suspended term.

All of the sentences were handed out at a single hearing in August.

Two days after walking free from court she was found with a kitchen knife in Southchurch Road, Southend, receiving a ten week sentence, suspended for 12 months.