‘You have embarrassed yourselves’: Gin and cocktail-fuelled women attacked police officer outside swanky Cheshire bar

A ‘rabbled mob’ of young women drunk on gin and cocktails launched a vicious attack on a police officer outside a swanky Cheshire bar.

Bethany Bennet, 24, Courtney Hardy, 25, Njeri Swanston, 24, and Millie Curley, 21, had been celebrating the end of lockdown in the heart of Cheshire’s ‘Golden Triangle’ in late July, 2021.

The officer, named only as Constable Dowse, had been called to the scene of a disturbance outside the Revolution bar in Wilmslow

A group of men had been fighting, a court heard, at around 3am.

READ MORE:Woman, 65, who was ‘preyed upon’ hauled to court for drug dealing offence as police find £70k-worth of cannabis at her flat

But the officer was jostled and then attacked by three of the drunken women as she told them to go home.

She said she was left ’emotionally broken’ after the attack in which she suffered bruising to her hip, thigh, knee and back.

Njeri Swanston slapped a second PC on the shin

Swanston also slapped a second PC on the shin after he asked to move on when he found her sat on a grass verge.

Bennett, a former pupil at the £14,000-a-year Alderley Edge School for Girls, Hardy, a trainee nurse, hairdresser Swanston and baker Curley all admitted assault on police at Stockport Magistrates’ Court.

In a statement read out at Stockport Magistrates’ Court, Constable Dowse said: “I have never had an assault like this before and at first I did not want to return to work after the incident.

“The effects have since left me feeling low and I am emotionally broken… I have had dreams where I find myself in the situation where I am alone and in attendance on my own on duty.

Courtney Hardy was conditionally discharged for 18 months

“I am a new mother, my priorities have changed since returning to work and I feel vulnerable in my role so much so ‘I do not feel I can perform my duties completely.”

The court heard how the incident occurred at around 3.15am on July 31.

Prosecutor Peter Conroy said: “Officers were told of an incident which had occurred outside the Revolution Bar in Wilmslow involving unrelated males being detained. Officers came to disperse the crowd and these four defendants were part of that group.

“There was a large number of people in the street and there was an altercation. PC Dowse said the females kept coming over and obstructing her and her colleagues.

“One of the females Miss Bennett was making the situation a lot worse, got into her face and was shouting abuse.”

Bethany Bennett was given a 10-week curfew

The prosecutor said Bennet then ‘pushed past the officer’ who then ‘pushed her away’.

“But the defendant then pushed again and the officer grabbed her arm telling her she would be arrested. At this, the defendant grabbed hold of the officer’s body armour and then grabbed her hair”, he added.

‘”PC Dowse describes how she felt her hair was going to be ripped from her scalp and how she suffered an intense burning sensation. She was then struck in the face and fell to the floor.

“She said she was on the floor and was struck over and over again and she sustained bruising a result.

The court heard how Miss Bennett answered largely no comment in police interview, and said she did not remember how much she drank.

But it was in the region of ‘six double gins as well as shots’ and she described herself as “being 7/10 drunk”.

Miss Swanston admitted being 6/10 drunk

Courtney Hardy was described as the ‘least culpable’

In mitigation for Bennett, defence lawyer James Riley said: ”The injuries the officer received are not all the fault of this defendant. She deeply regrets her actions and apologises.

“She works in a local school and this case is likely to affect her employment, as she needs to be DBS checked. It was a short lived incident and it is going to cost her dearly.

“She is a single mother to a child aged three. She should have just walked away.”

He added that her actions – in grabbing the officer’s hair, were “out of character”.

Njeri Swanston was fined £300

For Hardy, Julian Farley said: “She spent a significant number of hours in custody yet her involvement was minuscule.

“She works in a GP Practice and is training to become a nurse. There is a meeting coming up to determine her future. She is hopeful of retaining her job but there is a possibility that she will not.”

The court also heard how Swanston was pepper sprayed and her role was “extremely limited”.

But defence lawyer added: “She is remorseful and has apologised. She was trying to calm someone down when she should have just walked away. Her motivation was to not cause any trouble.
For Curley, Shirley Kelly said: “My client accepts she was abusive, aggressive and rude to the officers but PC Dowse says to members of the public to ‘f..k off home’.

“What she said was no worse than what the officer said. My client had initially held two other females back to avoid a confrontation and was acting as a peacemaker.

“But when trouble kicked off, it is accepted she joins in in what was a tussle. She said she was sorry straight away.”

Millie Curly was fined £200

Bennett, of Oakdean Court, Wilmslow, was ordered to abide by a 10 week curfew from 7pm to 7am and pay PC Dowse £150 compensation plus £45 costs.

Swanston, of Chelford Road, Handforth, was fined £300 and ordered to pay £117 in costs.

Curley, of Clay Lane, Handforth, was fined £200 with £117 costs.

Hardy, of Oakdean Court, Wilmslow, was conditionally discharged for 18 months and told to pay £107 in costs.

Sentencing, chairman of the bench Neil Brettell told them: “All of you have been described as intelligent and caring members of society, yet on this night in question after consuming alcohol, you turned into a rabbled mob.

”Instead of doing what was asked of you, which was to walk away and allow the police to do their job to keep control of the situation, you all became part of the problem.

“It would seem most people found it more important to take out their phone and record the situation.

”It would have been much easier if you had just walked away but that does not seem to have gone into your intelligent heads and I have difficulty understanding that.

“You have embarrassed yourselves and there will be further consequences because of your behaviour on that night.

“You have lost your good character and now all have criminal records.”

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