A DRUNKEN woman was found slumped inside her car which had been driven part way in to a hedge, near Chester, a court heard.
Elaine Metcalfe-Smith, 53, had turned to the bottle to try and blot out losing her job and family difficulties, West Cheshire Magistrates heard.
Metcalfe-Smith, a mother, told the Chester court she had struggled to cope after she lost her job as a personal assistant for a travel firm the day before her arrest on May 14.
A horse rider alerted police after she spotted Metcalfe-Smith inside her Vauxhall Corsa parked at an angle on Stannidge Lane, Churton, for some time and became concerned.
When police arrived they found Metcalfe-Smith smelled strongly of alcohol and she had three bottles of wine in her handbag, one of which was empty.
Wendy Newton, prosecuting told how following her arrest, Metcalfe-Smith was abusive and swore at police.
Metcalfe-Smith, of Queens Road, Vicars Cross, Chester, also lashed out at PC Kelly Walker, striking her to the arm in a dispute over changing her clothes in police custody.
“When police arrived at the scene, they found this defendant was slurring her words and smelled strongly of alcohol.
“Three times the defendant failed to provide a breath test, and the defendant was abusive when she was on the way to the custody suite.
“Once there, it was explained to the defendant that she would have to get unchanged and the defendant was again abusive, and she swung her arm and struck PC Walker to her arm.”
A tearful Metcalfe-Smith pleaded guilty to failing to provide a breath specimen whilst in charge of a vehicle. She also admitted assaulting a police constable.
The court heard Metcalfe had been instantly apologetic for her actions.
Stephen Coupe, defending, said: “Miss Metcalfe-Smith is a divorced mum of two, a lady of previous exemplary character. She is ashamed to be in court and is very apologetic. She is exceptionally remorseful for her conduct. Never in a million years would she behave that way ordinarily.
“This offence happened the day after her employment was terminated. This hit her very hard. She was under a lot of stress, both her parents suffer with terminal cancer.
“She drank to blot all of this out.”
Magistrates sentenced Metcalfe-Smith to a 12 month conditional discharge, and added 10 penalty points to her driving licence. She was also fined £70, told to pay £85 costs, £30 in compensation, and a £20 mandatory victim surcharge.