A drunk woman has avoided jail after kicking a police officer - after claiming she has turned her back on alcohol.

Tania Whetham, 37, had been drinking with an unnamed man and one other when the police turned up at the house on Wooded Close in Bury at 10am on February 12, this year.

All three were found to be intoxicated, Manchester Magistrates court heard.

Whetham, from Wythenshawe , had allegedly made a call to the police, but upon seeing them in the house, she became aggressive and assumed she was being sectioned.

She had then gone to the kitchen looking for the knife block, only to be stopped by officers who took her to the floor.

During the struggle, Whetham kicked out at one of the officers, hitting him in the back. No injuries were caused.

Outlining the facts, prosecutor Gareth Hughes said there was a disturbance at the house and the police arrived to find three people who were intoxicated.

“The police were hoping to take this defendant to an alternative place and alternative address,” he said.

“She seems to have overheard those discussions and assumed she was being sectioned under the Mental Health Act. This caused a reaction which made for the main part of the assault.

“She had gone for the knife block in the kitchen. The officer managed to stop her before she got there.

“Two officers then took her to the floor, and then she kicked out her leg backwards, which connected with the officer in the back. No injury was caused.

“She was arrested when other officers came to assist.

“She was carried to the police van and continued to be abusive, shouting and screaming once detained.”

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Whetham was said to have 20 previous offences of a similar nature in total, including previous assaults on police constables.

In mitigation, defence lawyer Bill Rawstron said after her first appearance at court the day after the incident, Whetham has made some considerable changes to her life, including completely cutting out alcohol and drugs.

“She presents today significantly better in terms of her physical characteristics. She has not drunk alcohol since that day,” he said.

“She has since moved back in with her elderly grandmother who does not abide by drinking.

“The situation was that she was homeless and was made an offer by the tenant of the property, and the police were called.

Tania Whetham outside Manchester Magistrates Court

“That gentleman took advantage of her vulnerabilities, he would often ply her with vodka, make sexually inappropriate remarks and have that similar type of contact.

“She called the police that morning and they saw three people who were under the influence of alcohol at 10am.

“It’s clear she had marks and bruises, and that she was subject to a physical attack.

“When she was going for the knife block, she wanted to harm herself, not the officer.

“The defendant has said she wants her life back and wants an alcohol-free life.”

Whetham, of Harbury Crescent, pleaded guilty to one charge of assault and emergency worker, and was sentenced to a 12 months community order.

Sentencing her, District Judge John Temperley said: “I sentence you on the basis that when you reached for that knife block, you had the intention of only harming yourself, rather than anybody else.

“I accept this for the same reason that the police evidence is of you making threats about self-harming at the time when they were detaining you.

“If I thought you were going to cause injury to anybody else, I would probably send this case to the Crown Court.

“However, I am struck by the change in your behaviour over the last couple of weeks and how you have taken steps to get help.”

Along with her community order, Whetham was ordered to complete 20 days of rehabilitation activity requirement, pay a £100 fine and pay £50 compensation to the officer.

She was also ordered to pay £150 court costs.