A CHESTER Crown Court judge urged a Chester woman to embrace the help and support she was being offered, after concerns for her welfare led armed police to surround a guest house.

Ashleigh Oldfield, 23, had previously entered guilty pleas to affray and criminal damage to a window at Lloyds of Chester Hotel on Brook Street, with both incidents happening early on January 2.

A separate charge of false imprisonment was denied and was not proceeded with by the prosecution.

Recorder William Waldron QC, having heard about Oldfield's long history with mental health issues, told her: "Prison is no place for you."

He sentenced Oldfield to a 12-month community order, with 20 days of a rehabilitation activity requirement, and urged her to attend "where and when and what you are told to do" in terms of appointments.

As Oldfield became tearful before being released from the dock, with her family present in court, he added: "You have got such good support from your family and those around you, and I hope you embrace that and allow them to love you better."

The court heard police had originally been called to Brook Street after a call from Oldfield's mum being concerned for Oldfield's welfare.

Prosecuting, Simon Mintz said officers attended shortly after 7am and could hear screaming through the window.

The court had heard the incident began after Oldfield became angry at her partner's snoring and an argument had broken out.

Her partner at the time came through the window to shout at officers: "This is not helping her mental condition."

Oldfield was seen holding two knives and made numerous threats to harm herself.

She shouted to officers: "Look what you have done; I have a hostage."

Armed police had attended and the road was cordoned off.

At one point, Mr Mintz said, she threatened a passer-by to "slash their f***ing face off".

Defending, Richard Thomas later said the passer-by was about 30 metres and had been filming the incident.

Mr Mintz added Oldfield smashed a window at the hotel and cut her hand in doing so.

The incident concluded and Oldfield was taken to hospital with superficial cuts.

The manager of the hotel said the hotel room "looked like a bomb had hit it", causing up to £300 of damage but up to £600 in lost revenue from the room being out of use until repairs were completed.

Interviewed, Oldfield said she had stopped taking medication for her mental health issues and had been taking crack cocaine.

She had one previous conviction for a threatening behaviour charge.

Mr Thomas said character references for Oldfield had been put forward from her mum, sister and at Soul Kitchen, where Oldfield had done voluntary work providing food to members of the homeless community, and was seeking a return to full-time employment had it not been for her mental health issues.

Oldfield had had a difficult time and lost her accommodation in the past couple of years, which led to her living on the streets "through no fault of her own".

Mr Thomas added: "She started to take class A drugs due to relationships formed with members of the homeless community."

Her mental health deteriorated and she was admitted to Bowmere Hospital.

She then began a relationship with the man at the Lloyds of Chester Hotel – a relationship which was "not appropriate" for either – and that had since ended.

The sight of police at the January 2 incident led Oldfield to panic and it was accepted the only harm she was going to do with the knives was to herself.

The partner at the time did not want to make a statement about what had happened.

Oldfield had since found alternative accommodation at a place in Chester which was a "starting point" to find more suitable accommodation in the future.

She was no longer using class A drugs and was attending appointments to address her mental health.

A restraining order had been sought to prevent Oldfield gaining access to Lloyds of Chester Hotel, for the owners' "peace of mind".

However, it was ruled Oldfield had no need to enter the premises, knowing she was not welcome and that she was no longer in a relationship with the man who had been residing there.