A DRUNK mum who drove with her young daughter in the car and attacked a PCSO has avoided jail after the district judge deemed her behaviour to be ‘out of character’.
Karen Hutchings, of Middle Lane in Cropthorne, had pleaded guilty to assaulting an accredited person, failing to provide a specimen for analysis and being drunk in charge of a child under the age of seven, on October 31, and the case was adjourned for a pre-sentence report with ‘all options open’.
But last Friday (November 14) the 38-year-old was spared a prison sentence and was instead slapped with 140 hours of unpaid work as part of a 12-month community order.
About 4pm on October 11 Hutchings was driving her vehicle down the middle of Bridge Street, Evesham, which grabbed the attention of PCSO Julie Pardo, before someone got out their car to inform the officer the defendant was drunk, the court heard.
PCSO Pardo went over to the car and as she leant in noticed a strong smell of alcohol so told Hutchings, who had her 18-month old daughter in the back, to remove the keys and to wait in the vehicle while the officer moved her own car.
The defendant then turned the engine back on and moved ‘two or three feet’ before PCSO Pardo reached inside to pull the keys out, the court was also told.
Hutchings then got out the car and started grabbing at the officer, pulling her stab vest, kicking out and shouting and swearing at her.
A total of four other police officers arrived at the scene to restrain the defendant and due to the manner of her driving and behaviour they asked her to complete a breath test.
She refused this as ‘she was on anti-depressants’ and didn’t give a blood sample because she ‘didn’t like her blood being taken’.
Hutchings was arrested and put into the back of a police car but stuck her leg out of the door to prevent it being shut, so was ushered into a van which had earlier arrived, the court heard.
Hutchings, defending herself, said: “I am mortified by that behaviour, that is not me. I am just embarrassed and very sorry.”
She was also handed a 20-month disqualification from driving and ordered to pay court costs of £85 and a £60 victim
District Judge Nigel Cadbury said; “Clearly this was out of character but this was a prolonged incident of utterly disgraceful behaviour.
“I am not surprised initially a court thought it was appropriate to consider custody because it was a prolonged assault on a PCSO and in those circumstances courts look at it very seriously.
“You are very fortunate you were stopped where you were and didn’t have an accident on the way home which could have had very seriously injured you and your young child.”