A woman has avoided jail after attacking a paramedic, injuring him and leaving him fearing he had HIV.

Mark Sullivan was left ‘in shock’ after Michelle Pollard, 43, drunkenly attacked him in July 2019.

But Pollard given a suspended sentence because the court accepted she was having a seizure during the assault.

Mr Sullivan, who has never been bitten before at work, responded to a call at the Centrepoint Hostel in Manchester.

When he arrived, a drunk Pollard was standing on top of a toilet and aggressively waving a cistern lid, trying to hit Mr Sullivan with it as he tried to calm her down.

People were able to take the makeshift weapon from her but that did not stop her from biting Mr Sullivan’s hand so hard she his skin through his glove, drawing blood.

Mr Sullivan said: ‘It caused a lot of pain, and she wouldn’t let go. She was really biting down and I pushed her to try to get her to let go. I then got out of the room. I was in shock.’

It was suggested to Mr Sullivan that Pollard may have HIV, so the medic had to be tested and treated as if he did have the virus until results revealed he was negative.

Nevertheless, he spent months in fear he had contracted a life-changing condition.

Pollard pleaded guilty to occasioning actual bodily harm yesterday and Manchester Crown Court gave her a 16-month jail sentence suspended for two years.

The sentence was suspended because the judge found Pollard, who has no history of epilepsy, was having a pseudo seizure – also called psychogenic non-epileptic seizures – which are fits caused by severe mental stress.

Pollard’s defence lawyer said: ‘She was fitting before the bite and and after the bite. She has moved forward in very positive ways.

‘She has a tragic background. She suffers from an emotional personality disorder. But she he is determined to remain alcohol-free as she sees the benefit.’

But Mr Sullivan does not believe she was having a pseudo fit because Pollard, who was previously convicted of assaulting a police officer, was ‘conscious’ when she bit the paramedic.

Judge Maurice Greene said Pollard’s pseudo fit may have made it difficult for her to realise Mr Sullivan was trying to help her – but criticised her for the ‘deliberate act’ of biting him.

Speaking to Pollard, he said: ‘You’d clearly been drinking a lot of alcohol on this particular night and paramedics were called.

‘[The attack] had a serious effect on him for some months. That’s why it’s a serious assault.

‘He was a paramedic doing no more than his job. It’s a very difficult job helping the public. He was trying to help you, and you treated him that way.’

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