East Lothian dental nurse Shannon O'Donnell handed ASBO after waking and spitting on pensioner

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A drunk dental nurse woke a pensioner in the middle of the night claiming she needed help with her sick baby before spitting in the woman's face.

Shannon O’Donnell launched the shocking attack on 72-year-old Irene Reilly after banging on her front door at around 1.30am in November 2022.

O’Donnell also assaulted a factory worker and a police officer by spitting on them during the drunken racist and homophobic tirade in Haddington, East Lothian.

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Edinburgh Sheriff Court was told despite O'Donnell's claims that evening she does not have any children and has no memory of carrying out the assaults.

Shannon O’Donnell woke the 72-year-old woman in the middle of the night and launched the attackShannon O’Donnell woke the 72-year-old woman in the middle of the night and launched the attack
Shannon O’Donnell woke the 72-year-old woman in the middle of the night and launched the attack | Alexander Lawrie

O’Donnell pleaded guilty to four offences on indictment when she appeared at the capital court last month and returned for sentencing on Monday.

Sheriff Matthew Auchincloss imposed a 12 month anti social behaviour order and placed O’Donnell on a supervision order for the same term. She will also have to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work in the community over the next year.

Previously, fiscal depute Xander van der Scheer told the court Mrs Reilly and her husband were asleep in bed when she heard banging on her front door at around 1.30am on November 22, 2022.

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The fiscal said Mrs Reilly heard a woman outside shouting that she “needed help as she had a really sick baby” and opened the door to find O’Donnell sitting on her doorstep. The court heard O’Donnell was in an “agitated” state and the pensioner had attempted to comfort her.

Mr van der Scheer said: “Mrs Reilly became quite cold as she was wearing only pyjamas and she stepped back in and started to shut the door. It was at this point the accused has jumped up and thrown herself at the door.

“She knocked Mrs Reilly back and as she fell the accused spat directly into her eye.”

The shocked pensioner shouted for help and a neighbour rushed to her aid and the police were contacted. O’Donnell, from Haddington, left the area and headed towards the nearby Pure Malt factory where she subsequently assaulted nightshift worker Jamie Robertson by spitting at him.

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The court was told O’Donnell was “crying and barged past him” and after lying down on the floor she “began screaming she had a baby outside”.

O’Donnell was described as ‘drunk and abusive” and had also slapped and pushed the employee on the body during the incident. The dental nurse was arrested soon after and as she was being taken to a waiting police van the court heard she spat in the face of PC Gillian Kellet.

Mr van der Scheer said O’Donnell shouted abuse at constables calling one “a blonde bitch” and was heard making comments including “f***ing poof”, “you brown c***” and “black c***”.

Defence agent Angela Craig said: “She had been out in the evening socially and the next thing she remembered was being in a police cell.” The solicitor told the court O’Donnell does not have any children and lives with her family near to the scene of the incidents.

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