A WOMAN who attacked a child then threatened police officers with a hammer near Lornshill Academy has been jailed.

Alana Searle, 34, appeared for sentencing via video link at Alloa Sheriff Court on Thursday, October 1, having already pleaded guilty to four charges.

Those charges include assaulting a child, possessing a weapon in public, assaulting police in the execution of their duty and behaving in a threatening or abusive manner.

Fiscal depute Susannah Hutchison told the court two 15-year-olds – a boy and a girl - were walking along Tullibody Road on August 27 this year when they encountered Searle at a bus stop.

As they walked past her, Searle asked if they had a pound for the bus.

They said no and kept walking, but Searle followed them and attempted to grab the boy.

Ms Hutchison said: "The accused approached [the boy] and attempted to grab [him], and [he] managed to grab hold of the accused's top in an effort to defend himself.

"The accused attempted to strike [the witness] with her arms.

"Due to fear for their own safety, the [male witness] struck the accused to the face in an attempt to get her to go away.

"The accused continued to approach them, resulting in the [male witness] grabbing her and pulling her to the ground while shouting: 'don't go near her.'"

At this point, the teenagers managed to put some distance between themselves and Searle, and staff at Lornshill Academy were alerted to the incident and contacted police.

When officers showed up, Searle was in possession of a hammer and refused to drop it when asked.

Ms Hutchison said: "[Incapacitant] spray was drawn, and the accused was again asked to drop the hammer.

"The accused refused to comply and then lunged towards an officer whilst brandishing the hammer over her head.

"She was sprayed in the face, however she continued forward towards an officer – still in possession of a hammer.

"[One police constable] then struck her to the arm with his baton, and she dropped the hammer and fell to the ground."

Searle was restrained, arrested, and taken to Livingston Custody Suite.

On the way to Livingston she made threats to kill police officers, and said she would murder the female manager of Alloa's Poundland by hitting her on the head with a hammer.

In mitigation for the offences, solicitor Robert Smith said his client had found the lockdown period "extremely challenging".

He said Searle had repeatedly phoned his office in recent months to say she was "having difficulty coping".

He added that she committed the offences while under the influence of Valium, and could not remember much about what happened.

Sheriff Craig Harris said Searle's criminal record was troubling, noting that in the past five years she was repeatedly allowed to remain in the community when sentenced.

He said: "A custodial sentence may not be a deterrent to you, but it's protection to the public."

He then imprisoned her in HMYOI Polmont for 225 days.