A 26 YEAR old who bit two police officers after being arrested for being drunk and disorderly in Skipton has been told by magistrates she could have been sent to prison.

Lottie Stephens was instead ordered to abstain from drinking for 100 days and was ordered to pay compensation of £100 to each officer as part of a 12-month community order.

Stephens was unsteady on her feet, incoherent and confused in Sackville Street at around 10.30pm on September 8, heard Skipton Magistrates Court today (Friday).

Police, responding to reports of a drunk female in a shop upsetting customers and refusing to leave, found her in a takeaway where she claimed to be ordering food.

A man with her told officers they had been out together for the night and that he would take her back to his house where she had been staying, to 'watch the footie'.

She was arrested by police because while crossing Sackville Street she seemed 'completely unaware of vehicles' said prosecutor Nadine Clough.

On route to Harrogate Police Station she shouted and swore at officers in between talking to herself, said Miss Clough.

In the station holding area, she continued to be abusive, telling officers she hoped they would 'die a slow death'.

While being dealt with by four officers she bit one on the back of the hand, and a second officer on the arm.

Neither bites drew blood, but there was bruising. Both officers stated that they did not expect to be assaulted when carrying out their job.

Miss Clough read out a statement from North Yorkshire's Chief Constable Lisa Winward in which she described the impact of assaults on police officers and the force in general and how it was not acceptable that people were assaulted when carrying out their duties.

The court heard that Stephens, who has a child, had breached a 12 month conditional discharge given for damaging  a courtesy car being used by a community nurse who had parked outside a patient's address in Settle on June 21 this year.

Stephens, of no fixed abode, admitted at an earlier hearing two charges of assault by beating of an emergency worker and being drunk and disorderly in a public place. She also admitted being in breach of the conditional discharge.

In mitigation, Gulfraz Khan said Stephens clearly had issues with alcohol, but she was not an alcoholic.

"There was clearly an excessive consumption of alcohol; she regrets it and is very remorseful," he said.

Mr Khan added that Stephens had received a job offer from a bakery and that together with getting her child back, who was currently living with her father, was the incentive she needed to get her life in order.

"She is willing to work with probation, and I have every confidence she will grasp this with both hands and that hopefully, she will never trouble the courts again."

Magistrates told Stephens that her offences were so severe that a custodial sentence could have been imposed. Instead, she was given a 12 month community sentence with two requirements - that she be fixed with a tag for a 100 day alcohol abstinence and monitoring programme and that she complete up to 25 rehabilitation activity requirement days.

She will also have to pay £100 compensation to both officers. There was no order for costs or a surcharge.