Woman who went wild in the aisles avoids jail

Annette Collier
Annette Collier
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A WIGAN woman who launched an unprovoked attack in a supermarket before threatening to stab a police officer has avoided prison.

Annette Collier refused repeated requests to drop the weapon and eventually had to be tasered, Liverpool Crown Court heard.

Poolstock Tesco Express

Poolstock Tesco Express

Sentencing 44-year-old Collier, a judge described the offences “as bizarre” and pointed out that she could have faced more serious charges.

Ken Grant, prosecuting, told the court that on July 22 last year Collier was in the Tesco store in Poolstock when she carried out “an unprovoked attack” on Elizabeth Gough just before 9am.

Mrs Gough was in the fruit aisle reading a text message when her hair was pulled and she felt a blow to the side of her face. She screamed out and managed to keep herself upright by leaning against a fridge door.

Staff came to her aid and Collier, who Mrs Gough did not know, left the store without saying anything, said Mr Grant.

The victim was taken to hospital by ambulance and it was found she had a large black eye and clumps of hair were missing. She was left shaken and drained and later told police she did not think she would be able to return to the store.

Police viewed the CCTV from the store and the manager indicated that Collier was known to staff. The officers then went to Collier’s home but she refused to open the door.

It was forced open by an “enforcer” device and after getting in officers realised that she was armed with a knife. She was holding it above her head and began to bring it down towards a female officer who backed away.

Her colleagues repeated asked her to drop the weapon and after she refused she had to be tasered before they were able to arrest her, said Mr Grant. When interviewed later the same day she said she suffered from memory loss problems. When shown the footage from the supermarket she agreed it was her but said she did not know why she had done it.

Collier, of Kipling Avenue, Wigan, pleaded guilty to assault by beating and affray. The court heard that she has previous convictions including assault and arson.

Judge Steven Everett sentenced her to 20 months imprisonment suspended for two years with 25 days rehabilitation and a six month alcohol rehabilitation course.

He said that she had attempted to stab a police officer and she could have been charged with more serious offences but the CPS had not chosen to do so.

“The police were doing their job and they had to break into your house. You tried to stab a police officer and of course you could have killed her and you know you could have been facing a life sentence. You need to keep in mind knives are always loaded and your intended victim was a police officer doing her duty.”

He told Collier, who kept trying to interrupt from the dock while he was sentencing her: “You don’t do enough to become a responsible member of the community. Your choices are to take drugs and drink.”

Steven Swift, in mitigation, said that she has not re-offended since the incident and said she needed therapy.