A WOMAN said to have been riding in a wheelbarrow and wielding an axe during the height of lockdown has been spared an immediate prison sentence.

Aleksandra Wojciechowska, 36, tried to bite the hand of one of the police officers called to catch her – then a month later touched a female officer’s buttocks as she waited in a holding cell at the police station.

Imposing a 13 month jail sentence suspended for a year-and-a-half, Judge Jason Taylor QC said: “That suspended sentence will be hanging over your head for a period of 18 months. If you commit any further offence within the next 18 months you go to prison, plain and simple, so you need to address your alcohol issues.”

Yesterday, prosecutor Christopher Wing told Swindon Crown Court police had been called to reports of a man pushing a woman down Manchester Road in a wheelbarrow shortly before 10pm on April 9.

It was suggested that Wojciechowska – the woman riding in the wheelbarrow – had been brandishing an axe and shouting words like “do you want to die today?” However, Mr Wing said there were no statements to support that. Other tools were discovered in the wheelbarrow.

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The wheelbarrow containing tools and beer Picture: CPS WESSEX/WILTSHIRE POLICE

Police arrested the pair on suspicion of affray. While a PC Head was walking her to a police van, she ducked her head towards his hand as if to bite him. Her teeth touched his skin, although she did not break the skin and no visible injury was left.

A month later, on May 23, police were called to reports of a fire on Station Road. Wojciechowska, one of those at the scene, was drunk and became increasingly emotional. She was arrested and taken to Gablecross police station, where she spent almost an hour and a half in a holding cell with officers.

Mr Wing said she had gone up to a female officer and touched her buttocks. The officer told her: “You do not do that to anyone. You do not do that to a police officer.” The woman was instantly apologetic and started crying.

Interviewed the next day, she said she had drunk three bottles of alcopop Smirnoff Ice and had no memory of the incident at the police station.

Wojciechowska, of Deacon Street, pleaded guilty at the magistrates’ court to possession of a bladed article and two counts of assaulting emergency workers. She had earlier faced a charge of breaching the coronavirus regulations by being pushed in a wheelbarrow, although this was withdrawn by the Crown at an earlier hearing.

The court heard she had four convictions on her record, including one for assaulting a police officer.

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The axe found in the defendant's possession Picture: CPS WESSEX/WILTSHIRE POLICE

Defending, David Scutt said it was clear his client had an issue with alcohol. She had accommodation and a job, although was currently off work after breaking a bone in her hand.

He said of the wheelbarrow incident: “I take nothing away from the seriousness of the offence but shopping trolleys and that sort of thing spring to mind.

"It was unedifying and it was unfortunate. No question that there must have been reports of the words that were used, but as my learned friend has rightly pointed out there is no actual evidence of it.”

Mr Scutt asked the judge to consider a suspended sentence. “This is a case that does not warrant in its particular seriousness an immediate custodial sentence. That, with respect, would be a retrograde step because although it would be sobering both literally and metaphorically it’s a fact that there are other substances that she could resort to to sate what must be on any view an addictive personality.”

Judge Taylor ordered Wojciechowska complete an alcohol treatment programme as part of her suspended sentence. She must do 150 hours of unpaid work, 20 rehabilitation activity requirement days and pay £680 prosecution costs.

The judge said: “It seems that the police were called to the report of you being pushed in a wheelbarrow whilst wielding an axe and shouting words to the effect of ‘do you want to die today?'

“In my judgement you and the person you were with took this wheelbarrow and its contents from a work site or something similar and in your drunken state you thought it was funny. Sadly, it wasn’t.

“Things took a turn for the worse because when members of the public had become alarmed and police were called you bit the hand of one of the officers. Fortunately, for that officer and, indeed, you, you did not break the skin and no visible injury was left.

“Whilst on bail or under investigation just over a month later on May 23 you were again in a severe state of intoxication, agitated and crying. When police were called to the property you could not be calmed and eventually had to be arrested.

“Regrettably again, at the police station it seemed you had not learned your lesson of a month before and you spontaneously put the palms of you hands on the bottom of a police officer.

“You were challenged and it’s clear you regretted it and offered an immediate apology and began crying.”

The man pushing the wheelbarrow, Michael Rajski, 42, of Groundwell Road, admitted using threatening or abusive words or behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress at an earlier hearing. He was fined £200 and ordered to pay £85 costs.