A Stroud horse rider who has 'historically had problems with the police' has been conditionally discharged by a Crown Court judge for offences of assaulting an officer and resisting arrest. 

The background to Joanne Workman's offending was a confrontation she had with three photographers while she was riding her horse through woodland at Chalford on April 26, 2019, Gloucester Crown Court was told yesterday.

Workman, 52, of Primrose Banks, Old Neighbourhood, Stroud, allegedly assaulted two of the photographers after they told her she should not have been riding there because the path was not a bridleway, the court heard.

When she was arrested for the alleged assaults six months later she threw her boots at PC Adam Ticknell and that led to a further charge of common assault, said prosecutor Susan Cavender.

Finally, said the prosecutor, Workman was seen by two police officers to make a 'middle finger salute' to them while she was towing a horsebox in January 2020 and when she was being arrested for that she became agitated and had to be wrestled to the ground.

Yesterday (Jan 25) Workman was due to be tried by jury at the crown court on charges of assaulting two of the photographers, Alison Scutcher and Vivian Rogers.

But the case stopped short of trial when the prosecution decided not to proceed with the charges after Workman pleaded guilty to resisting arrest on the day that she allegedly made the middle finger gestures.

Judge Ian Lawrie QC sentenced her to a two year conditional discharge for resisting arrest and also for the assault on Pc Ticknell by throwing her boots at him.

The court was told that Workman denied assaulting the photographers and had been due to stand trial by jury yesterday (Jan 25).

Lucy Taylor, defending, said Workman has 'historically had problems with the police' and added: “It was only a gesture because of the tensions between her and the police. This should be taken in context."

Workman pleaded guilty to resisting arrest on January 12, 2020.

Judge Lawrie told Workman he was sentencing her for all her outstanding cases, including those still lodged at the magistrates’ court, and added: “There are a variety of features in the hinterland of this case that need consideration and I will impose a sentence that reaches a compromise in sentencing terms.

“Whatever has happened here, the behaviour doesn’t merit a custodial term. I have therefore decided that a two year conditional discharge is an appropriate sentence.

“Over the next two years you must behave yourself and you must stay out of trouble with the police. You should give the police a wide berth in future.

"If you don’t, you will be back before the courts.”

Judge Lawrie stated that the two assault charges from April 2019 would lie on the court file and not proceeded with.

He ordered Workman to pay court costs of £50 and a victim surcharge of £21.