Girl, 18, threatened “I will stab you all” before spitting in cop’s face – but is deemed ‘too young and immature’ to go to prison

A lout who told a group of girls “I will stab you all” as she robbed them before spitting in a policeman’s face as she was arrested was deemed too “young and immature” to go to prison.

Shanae White, 20, was spared jail for her crimes that took place in 2020, when she was just 18-years-old. On November 11, 2020, White targeted her victim, Leonie Heaney, as she was chatting to two friends in Bury town centre. She walked up to the trio and offered to sell them drugs, before becoming aggressive and demanding phones or jewelery from the group.

Alexandra Sutton, prosecuting, told a hearing at Minshull Street Crown Court White became agitated when the group said they didn’t have a phone with credit, saying: “Have none of you got a phone or jewellery? You’re lying to me – I will stab you all.” She then “got in Miss Heaney’s face de ella”, grabbing hold of three necklaces around her victim’s neck and trying to pull them off.

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Her victim managed to hold onto one of the necklaces, whilst White, from Stretford, ripped the other two, including one which had been a gift from the victim’s grandparents, away before the group ran off whilst White shouted at them. She was arrested and taken to a cell in Bury, where she took her surgical mask off her and spat in the face of a policeman at the height of the second national coronavirus lockdown.

Miss Sutton said: “Police arrived and whilst taking a statement from the victims they saw White and one of them identified her as the culprit. The officers searched White who claimed the victims had tried to take the chains from her and she was arrested. She was asked if she had taken any drugs and she said she had smoked some weed.

“When she entered Bury custody suite, White was wearing a surgical mask over her mouth but not her nose and she was acting aggressively and making reference to assaulting the officers. She initially agreed to go to her cell to be searched and her handcuffs were removed but as she was being escorted to her cell by Sgt Black, she suddenly stopped, refused to go any further, removed the facemask and said she would spit in the officers face.

“She then did so and a large amount of spittle was projected from two meters away and Sgt Black felt it on his face, forehead, cheek, lips and chin. At the time he was restraining White with his hands and he felt the saliva run into his eyes and mouth as he was not able to wipe it away.”

White, then 18, tore two necklaces from one of her victims before spitting in a police officer’s face

Statements from both of White’s victims were heard in court, with Miss Heaney telling police the attack had left her scared to go out for fear she might fall victim to a similar mugging. She said the stabbing threats issued made her feel her life was at risk.

Sgt Black, who is based at Bury police station, said: ”The incident left me feeling sick. It happened during the pandemic and I was worried about catching the Covid virus and passing it onto my family. I’d rather be punched than have someone spit in my face.”

White, who answered no comment in police interview, has a history of knife crime, violence, and resisting arrest, with five previous offenses on her record. In 2019 she was given a 12 month youth rehabilitation order for assault occasioning actual bodily harm and she also had convictions for possessing a knife in a public place, assault and resisting a PC.

After her arrest, White blamed her conduct on mental health issues stemming back to ”irresponsible parenting” and abuse from family members. In mitigation defense counsel Miss Lillian Lewis said: ”ella She’s had a very difficult, disruptive and traumatic childhood and was also a victim of significant domestic violence by a former long-term partner.

“Her mental health was particularly bad at the time of this offense and she has an emotional unstable personality disorder which has not yet fully developed because of her young age. She has a marked tendency to act unexpectedly without considering the consequences. She is easily influenced by others.”

White has been spared jail as there is a “real hope of rehabilitation”

Although no public apology was given to either of her victims, White pleaded guilty to robbery and assaulting an emergency worker. She was sentenced to 20 months imprisonment, suspended for two years, given a curfew, and ordered to complete a “Thinking Skills” programme, attend a course at a “Problem-Solving Court”, and undergo 20 Rehabilitation Requirement Days.

When sentencing, Judge Bernadette Baxter told her: “The robbery was nasty bullying violence when you threatened to stab someone and to do what you did to that police officer was absolutely disgusting and vile. It was a deliberate act on your part at the time of the pandemic – people don’t go to work to be assaulted and abused in that way.

“But because of the age you were at the time, and your immaturity, the very disruptive and difficult childhood you have had and your exposure because of irresponsible parents to domestic violence and because of your mental health difficulties, I can suspend the sentence. Given your age, there is a real hope for rehabilitation but this is not a soft option for you.

“Your time will be called upon by the probation service to hopefully give you the tools you need to lead a structured life. The reason I can suspend the sentence is mainly because of your age, your mental health and social circumstances. I’m giving you a chance so make sure you take the opportunity.”

An accomplice of White, Ricaan Chevelleau, 19, of Blackley, Manchester will be sentenced later.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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