A WOMAN accused of assaulting two female police officers has failed to attend court after telling her solicitor that she has been advised to self-quarantine due to coronavirus fears.

Josephine Collier Hannam, 22, had been due to appear before Burnley magistrates yesterday morning accused of two counts of common assault on an emergency worker.

They relate to an incident in Burnley on February 11 when Hannam is said to have pulled one police officer’s hair and kicked another in the back.

Daniel Fraser, defending, said he had received a phone call from Hannam yesterday morning saying that she had phoned the NHS 111 service complaining of having flu-like symptoms and had been advised to self-isolate.

Mr Fraser said his client was not claiming to have coronavirus and would not be able to provide a medical note for her non-attendance, but said she had been left in a difficult position, having been advised to not leave the house.

Magistrates heard that Hannam, of Pine Street, Burnley, had been due to attend court on March 3 to answer the same charges but was given an adjournment on that occasion after stating she had been unable to fund transport to the Parker Lane building after having a deduction taken from her benefits.

Mr Fraser said: “It seems she has an had an unfortunate run of events.

“She seems to have acted as quickly as she could. She certainly phoned me before office hours. I believe there is some genuine concern behind this. Unfortunately we don’t have any medical evidence.”

Prosecuting, Ruby Mckeague said she would not be applying for an arrest warrant as there was no way of proving whether what Hannam was saying was truthful or not. Ms Mckeague said: “Given the Government guidance is to self-isolate there is not much I can say.”

Magistrates adjourned the case until April 7.