A DRUNK Kendal woman who uses alcohol as a ‘means to escape’ spat at one police officer and racially abused another, a court heard.

Katie Gardner, 24, of Ivy Cottages, Burneside, was jailed for the offences when she appeared at South Lakeland Magistrates Court.

Gardner, who has a string of previous offences, was arrested by PC Salmon in Kendal town centre on April 1 after her partner, John Dillon, reported her to police for assaulting him.

Lisa Hine, prosecuting, said as they were getting out of the police van, she spat at PC Salmon and it landed on his arm.

She added that when PC Salmon was outlining the circumstances of her arrest to Sergeant Patel, who is of Asian origin, she spat again at PC Salmon and hurled racist abuse at Sgt Patel.

In police interview, Gardner said she had drunk two bottles of Apple Sourz and 14 cans of Strongbow throughout the day.

Ms Hine said Gardner and Mr Dillon had got into an argument over money and she punched him in the face, pulled him to the floor and punched him four more times in the chest.

In mitigation Jackie Partington described the spitting as ‘unpleasant and completely unacceptable’.

She said Gardner was in a ‘vicious cycle’ of local hostels and homelessness at the time and used alcohol as a ‘means to escape’.

She pleaded guilty to assaulting Mr Dillon and PS Salmon and also to racially aggravated harassment.

Gardner was jailed for 16 weeks for the attack on Mr Dillon and 16 weeks for spitting at PC Salmon. Magistrates ordered that the jail terms will run concurrently.

There was no separate punishment for the racist abuse of Sgt Patel.