'Troubled' woman who hurled pole at police officer in fracas at bus station appears in Burnley court
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Collette Williams hit the officer on his body armour with the 'weapon,' after she had been shouting and swearing and was said to have been waving the pole about. She had become aggressive and police had tried to take the pole off her.
The 51-year-old’s behaviour had caused concern to members of the public, who were at the 'fairly busy' station, Burnley magistrates were told.
Mrs Alex Mann, prosecuting, told the hearing police were called at 9.30am, as a woman was reported to have been making threats to harm herself on Nelson bus station.
It was also reported she was acting in a threatening manner towards the public.
The prosecutor continued: " She had a pole in her hand. People thought it was a metal pole, but it turned out to be plastic.
"Police saw her with the pole. She was shouting and swearing. Officers came close to her and asked her to put the pole down. She was verbally aggressive and they tried to take the pole off her.”
Mrs Mann said as an officer tried to remove the pole, the defendant raised it and threw it at him with force. It hit him on his body armour. She was arrested.
The prosecutor added Williams was currently on a court order and had a record going back years, which included police assault and public disorder. She also had offences relating to a restraining order regarding her mother.
Miss Catherine Fell, defending, said Williams had mental health problems. She had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and a borderline personality disorder and had had a very difficult life.
A few days before, she got mixed up with her medication and felt a bit unstable. Sometimes police would be called, they would talk to her and she would calm down and feel better.
The solicitor continued: " She says ' I needed some help. I don’t believe I was aggressive at that time, but I wasn’t in a good place.'
“Police came and she accepts she had the pole with her. Unfortunately, I think it was her reaction to how they dealt with her.
"She effectively describes herself being backed in a corner. She panicked. She was saying 'Get away from me.' "
Probation officer Mr Elliott Smith said Williams was on post -sentence supervision until September and was engaging well with the services working with her.
The defendant, of Belgrave Street, Nelson, admitted police assault, on December 29th. She was given a 12-month conditional discharge and must pay a £21 victim surcharge.
The Bench chairman told her: " We understand you weren’t in a good place, but obviously assaulting a police officer is not acceptable.”