Drunk Pendle woman threatened police officers with hammer

Burnley Magistrates' Court
Burnley Magistrates' Court
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A drunk middle-aged woman threatened police with a hammer after calling them to her home, a court heard.

Sian Stringer didn't put it down when told to by the frightened officers and almost ended up being PAVA sprayed. She was eventually disarmed without any harm being caused.

The 52-year-old, who has drink and mental health problems, said she was afraid and slept with the hammer next to her. She told Burnley magistrates her behaviour had been "inexcusable".

Mrs Alex Mann, prosecuting, said Stringer admitted the offence at the police station. The defendant had been at home and had rung the police. Officers attended and found her calm, but upset and crying and clearly drunk. She had cuts on her arms which she said she had done to herself with some glass.

An ambulance was called but when one hadn't arrived after an hour, police decided to take her themselves and called for a secure van.

Mrs Mann said once Stringer saw the van arrived her behaviour changed, she was described as being agitated and picked up a hammer from behind or next to her on the settee.

The defendant made threats and heId the hammer up.

The prosecutor continued: "Officers feared for their safety. PAVA spray was considered, such was the level of fear at that time. They told her to put the hammer down. She didn't listen. One of the officers managed to take it off her without any harm being caused."

Mrs Mann added: "There are clear issues in relation to both mental health and alcohol. She is already under the care of mental health professionals due to these issues."

The prosecutor said the defendant told police she was afraid. Mrs Mann went on: "She said she was very sorry to the officers. She did say she would never hurt anybody and she said, 'I can't apologise enough'."

The defendant, who was not represented by a solicitor, was accompanied by a support worker.

She told the Bench: "There was no excuse for my behaviour, obviously. What I did was inexcusable. I was in a coma four weeks ago. I am so angry about things. I knew if I threatened the police with a hammer I would be safe."

Stringer, of Chapelhouse Road, Nelson, admitted affray, on February 8th. She was given an 18-month conditional discharge and must pay a £20 victim surcharge.