A 46-year-old Stroud woman accused of assault and offensive weapon offences died in prison four days after being remanded in custody to await trial, it was revealed yesterday.

Joanne Harrison of Bath Road, Stroud, appeared before Cheltenham Magistrates on November 19 last year charged with assault by beating, possessing an offensive weapon, and breach of bail.

The magistrates committed her case to Gloucester Crown Court for a hearing on December 12 - but at the Crown Court yesterday it was revealed that on November 23 she died in Eastwood Park Prison, near Wotton-Under-Edge.

Her funeral was held on December 20.

Donations in her memory were invited for the Marah Trust, based in Stroud, which is a Christian charitable organisation committed to supporting 'vulnerable and marginalised adults' in the district, including people with drug addictions.

A spokesman for the Avon Coroner said today that an inquest into her death has been opened and adjourned and no date has yet been set for the full hearing.

"The cause of death is known but at this stage not in the public domain so I am not able to tell you," he said.

At Crown Court yesterday Ms Harrison's partner and co-defendant in the case, William Davies, 51, of the same address, was listed for a trial date to be set.

Alec Small, prosecuting, said he had formally withdrawn the charges against her on learning of her death.

The trial of both Ms Harrison and Mr Davies was supposed to have taken place this week but had to be delayed because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Judge Ian Lawrie QC said he would pencil in a date for trial of Mr Davies later in the year but he hoped the case could be resolved without the need for a jury hearing.

Ms Harrison had denied assaulting a man in Stroud by beating on July 25 last year, but admitted possessing an offensive weapon - a sock containing marbles - on the same occasion. She had also admitted breaching court bail.

When the magistrates remanded her into custody on November 19 they said it was because she was likely to abscond, re-offend or fail to appear at future hearings.

Mr Davies is charged with the same assault on the man and possession of the sock containing marbles. He is also accused of assaulting a woman causing actual bodily harm on the same date and possessing cannabis.