Woman felled by taser after attack on police

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A YOUNG Wigan woman who hurled two TVs at a police officer and spat in his face was eventually subdued with a taser.

Wigan and Leigh Magistrates’ Court heard Hayley Cowan, from Scholes, became so abusive and aggressive when police called at an address in Platt Bridge that the officer was forced to use the stun device on her.

The court was told officers called at a house on Woodcock Drive on January 7 while investigating an offence and picked up a pair of trainers.

Cowan, 23, ran into the bedroom and the officer who followed her saw her hiding another pair of trainers, which led to him telling her to move out of the way.

She then pushed him and exploded in a foul-mouthed tirade before trying to throw punches towards his face and picking up a TV and throwing it at the officer, narrowly missing his head.

The court was told Cowan, who was described as a “Jekyll and Hyde” character by her solicitor, then continued to hurl abuse and threw a second screen. Having already warned her with the Taser, the officer then deployed the instrument.

However, even with the handcuffs on Cowan continued to struggle and spat in the officer’s face, leading the police to place a hood over her face.

Cowan had pleaded guilty to assaulting a police officer at a previous hearing but returned for sentencing following a report prepared by probation and was given a suspended jail sentence.

Defending, Bob Topping said Cowan’s personality changed dramatically when she was under the influence of alcohol or drugs. He said: “She is a young lady with massive underlying problems who needs some assistance.

“She is very pleasant and co-operative when I speak to her but when she has had a few drinks Jekyll becomes Mr Hyde, which is self-evident from her behaviour towards the police officer.

“She apologised in interviews and displays a considerable amount of remorse. The combination of her mental health problems together with alcohol or drugs leads to the volatile and completely unpleasant behaviour we have heard so graphically described today.”

Sentencing her, the bench described the incident as “violent and sustained” but suspended the four-month prison sentence for a year.

Cowan, whose support workers were in the public gallery, was also ordered to complete a 15-day rehabilitation programme and observe a curfew between 7pm and 7am for three months. She was also told to pay £200 compensation to the officer.