A WOMAN whose best friend died in a house fire in Chester “drowned her sorrows” with drink and ended up assaulting a police officer, a court heard.

Della Jones, 54, of Phillip Street, Hoole, had got into an argument with a taxi driver in the Royal Oak pub on Faulkner Street at around 9pm on April 20.

Police officers were called to the scene to calm the situation and immediately noticed the defendant was “very drunk”.

They escorted her out of the pub whereupon she tried to punch one of the officers, before kicking her twice in the leg.

Appearing at Chester Magistrates Court, Jones was fined £200 and ordered to pay the police officer £300 compensation. She must also pay court costs of £85 and a £30 victim surcharge.

The court heard that Jones has six previous convictions for eight offences but had not been in trouble since 2012 when she was convicted of shoplifting.

Adrian Evans, defending, said she accepted she had drunk too much and her recollection of the evening was “hazy”.

“Her best friend had died in a house fire and she cared for him until the emergency services arrived,” Mr Evans said. “She has been using alcohol as a crutch, to drown her sorrows.”

He added that she was “very remorseful” for her actions.