A DRINK-DRIVER who assaulted a police officer and used a homophobic slur towards him has been spared jail.

Patricia Power, of Augusta House, Byron Close, Chester, kicked out at the officer while he and his colleagues tried to arrest her at her home on October 9 last year.

The 50-year-old was sentenced to 12 weeks in prison, suspended for 18 months, and banned from driving for three years when she appeared at Chester Magistrates Court yesterday.

Power, who has two previous convictions for assaulting police officers, was more than double the legal alcohol limit for driving and also drove without a license.

The court heard that she had driven a neighbour to the shop as a favour and when they returned she got into a dispute with another male which led to the police arriving at her property.

Ayra Ali, prosecuting, said that Power had kicked PC Hackett and verbally abused him – using a homophobic slur as well as threatening language – while he was trying to arrest her on suspicion of drink driving.

Video footage from a police bodycam showing Power resisting arrest was shown in the court.

Addressing the homophobic slur used by Power, defending solicitor Howard Jones told the court: "It was a derogatory comment but there was nothing to suggest the officer was homosexual and there was no intention by Miss Power to offend him.

"It was said in the heat of the moment. She's very remorseful about how she reacted."

Mr Jones said that Power's 16-year-old son had since moved up to Chester to live with her and had become a 'positive influence' on her.

He added: "She fell down on the bed and kicked out. It was the flat of the foot hitting the body armour so there was no physical injury.

"She does have previous matters including assaults on officers. One is very dated and one was two years ago.

"She's wanting to deal with the drink issue. That is the problem that has brought her before the courts.

"Her ultimate goal is to be alcohol free and someone her son is proud of."

Sentencing, the chair of magistrates Ian Williams told Power that given her previous convictions for similar offences and the use of a homophobic term, her actions had passed the custody threshold.

But he added that due to her mental health issues and based on a report from the probation service, he did not believe prison was a suitable punishment, and sentenced her to 12 weeks in custody, suspended for 18 months.

She was also banned from driving for three years and ordered to a pay a total of £872 in court costs and compensation.