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27 June 2011, 09:54
A Sunderland woman could be sent to jail after she admitted shouting ``bang bang'' at the police officer who was blinded by gunman Raoul Moat in Newcastle
Kelsey Donkin was showing off in front of 12 friends when she made the alarming comment, then made a gesture as if she was holding a shotgun.
Pc David Rathband had been walking into Newcastle Crown Court to attend the trial of two of Moat's accomplices on March 2 but was so upset by the incident that he had to go home.
Newcastle magistrates adjourned Donkin's case for reports and she will be sentenced at a later date. Chairman of the bench Brian O'Dwyer warned her that 12 weeks in prison was being considered as a sentence.
He said: ``The aggravating features are there were a large number of people in the vicinity and your actions had a serious impact on a victim who was extremely vulnerable following a shooting.''
22 year old Donkin, from Southwick, appeared in court wearing a large white baseball cap, a heavy gold-coloured chain, leggings, furry boots and a white top.
As she left court, she replied when asked if she was sorry: ``I've written a letter to him. I really apologise deeply.''
Pc Rathband, who will never see again and whose face remains visibly scarred after being shot twice, said: ``It was dreadful. The effect she had on me was that I had to go home. Hopefully, she will realise one day her little joke had a devastating effect not only on me, but my wife and family.''
Donkin had denied the public order offence of causing PC Rathband harassment or distress at a hearing earlier this year and was due to go on trial at Newcastle Magistrates' Court, but she changed her plea.
Judith Curry, defending, said Donkin had received threats and was now a ``figure of hate'', adding: ``She feels absolutely dreadful about what has happened.''