A WOMAN assaulted a member of staff at a shop when he stopped her stealing.

Blackburn magistrates heard Amy Louise Cowburn had stolen from the same shop the day before.

Cowburn, 27, of Larch Street, Nelson, pleaded guilty to two charges of shoplifting, criminal damage to two jars of coffee, assaulting Mohsin Tabasam, obstructing a police officer and racially aggravated threatening behaviour. She was jailed for 12 weeks and ordered to pay £20 compensation.

Parveen Akhtar, prosecuting, said Mr Tabasam worked in the One Stop shop in Nelson and had been alerted to the fact that “Amy” was in the store.

“She was drunk and selected a number of jars of coffee,” said Miss Akhtar. “When Mr Tabasam intervened she pushed him in the chest before smashing the jars of coffee on the floor and running off.”

Later the same day police were called to a dispute between Cowburn and her grandmother. Cowburn ran off and climbed on a wall when the officer approached her.

“She was asked to come back and replied with racist abuse,” said Miss Akhtar. “She was detained after a short chase.”

Nick Dearing, defending, said his client suffered from personality disorder and had struggled since her release from prison last year.

“She was arrested last Friday and has spent the weekend in hospital,” said Mr Dearing.