A DRUNKEN woman arrested after she was seen walking on railway lines spat in the face of the arresting officer.

Blackburn magistrates heard the incident happened on Monday when Cheryl Diane Cheetham already had four offences of being drunk and disorderly, two of criminal damage and two of shoplifting in the court system.

Cheetham, 41, of Norfolk Grove, Church, pleaded guilty to assaulting an emergency worker, being drunk and disorderly and trespassing on railway property. She was jailed for 16 weeks and ordered to pay £150 compensation to the officer on release.

Passing sentence District Judge John McGarva said; "I can't tolerate people spitting at police officers at any time but it is greatly enhanced at the current time, it could be a death sentence."

Tracy Yates, prosecuting, said police were called to Manchester Road station in Burnley after members of the public reported a drunken woman walking on the tracks and shouting abuse at 8.10 pm on Monday.

"She was heavily intoxicated and asked the officer to take her home," said Mrs Yates. "When he refused she started walking towards the tracks again and when the officer took hold of her arm she turned and punched him in the face."

Mrs Yates said the officer used his pepper spray and took the defendant to the floor.

"She was kicking out, swearing repeatedly and then spat in the officer's face," said Mrs Yates.

Richard Prew, defending, said his client had no recollection of the incident.

"Having been told what happened she says she needs locking up," said Mr Prew.

"She can only apologise. It wasn't her intention for this to escalate in the way that it did."