A FORFAR drug addict whose hidden needle pricked a female Tayside police sergeant’s thumb during a body search has been jailed for nine months.
Dana Stewart (23), of Castle Street, Forfar, failed to tell officer Ashley Dewar that the needle was in her pocket causing the officer an agonising six-month wait to be given the all clear from HIV and hepatitis.
Stewart’s lawyer told Forfar Sheriff Court that Stewart had been so under the influence of heroin she forgot the needle was there and had been “devastated” by what she had done.
Solicitor Bob Bruce said that Stewart had turned her life around since the offence last April but Sheriff Kevin Veal rejected a plea for the accused to avoid prison after saying that the police must be given protection from these dangers.
Stewart had earlier admitted an indictment that she failed to tell Sergeant Dewar she had the needle at the town’s Viewmount on April 25 last year, causing the policewoman to prick her thumb to the endangerment of her health and with disregard to the consequences.
At the time of the offence Stewart was being detained by police for another matter and when asked by Sergeant Dewar is she had any bladed or sharp instruments in her possession she had replied no.
When the officer put her hand into Stewart’s jeans her left thumb was jabbed by the needle which had been facing upwards without the cap on.
Sheriff Veal said that it was a significant feature of the case that the accused had been specifically asked by the officer if she had anything sharp in her pockets and when she replied no the search was then carried out.