“Neanderthal” women jailed for attacking police for a second time in Colburn

Abi Hopwood, left, and Ashton Bowles, right.

A pair of “Neanderthal” Richmondshire  women with a “deep-seated hatred” of the police have become the scourge of officers in Colburn, a court heard today.

Abigail Hopwood, 23, and Ashton Bowles, 21, are known among pals as the “Kray Twins” after a series of attacks that saw them branded “utterly lawless” by a judge.

The duo were jailed again by magistrates after their latest ambush on police.

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The pair were jailed last year after a drunken rampage which ended with them threatening police with a plank of wood and shard of glass.

They were also slapped with five year criminal behaviour orders after they “ran amok” in Colburn luring police into a trap.

However after serving their sentences they attacked police officers again using the same plan of attack, magistrates were told.

The police assaults – Hopwood’s third and Bowles’ second – came only three months after they were released from their previous sentence for attacking police.

Cathy Turnbull, prosecuting, told York magistrates that Hopwood and Bowles, dialled 999 from a phone box and began shouting for help – but when police officers arrived they attacked them.

Mrs Turnbull told the court: “On May 3rd a 999 call was made from a telephone box and a voice shouted “help” three times.

“CCTV caught images of Ashton Bowles and Abigail Hopwood in the phone box.

“Officers attended and the two of them along with other youths had congregated in the area.

“In relation to the assault, an officer was dealing with Abigail Hopwood when there was an impact from behind. The officer was struck by Ashton Bowles who also spat on the officer’s back.”

Mrs Turnbull said that on the same date Hopwood had been carrying a bottle of Lambrini wine and was in a drunken state.

She said: “On May 3rd she was seen carrying a bottle of Lambrini. She was struggling and spitting at officers and she kicked another in the shin. A spit guard was put in place.

“As she was being searched although wearing a spit guard she still managed to spit and hit an officer in her face and continued to kick out at her.”

On a previous date she also drunkenly spat at a police officer whilst being taken to a police van for being drunk and unsteady on her feet, the court heard.

James Fenny, for Hopwood, said: “Alcohol is her downfall, she does not have a clear recollection of events.. I ask you to give her credit for her guilty pleas.”

Bowles admitted police assault and breaching her criminal behaviour order.

Hopwood admitted three assaults on police officers and being drunk and disorderly.

Bowles was jailed for 12 weeks. and Hopwood for 24 weeks.

Presiding magistrate Mick Waudby told Hopwood: “These are extremely serious offences, spitting, refusing to put down a bottle when told to. It required a number of officers to restrain you because of your unacceptable behaviour.”

Last October the pair were jailed after twice going on drunken rampages in Colburn.

They were arrested and bailed after the first incident but returned in the early hours five days later and lured police there with a 999 call, York Crown Court heard at the time.

When officers arrived, Bowles threatened them with a plank of wood while Hopwood was found wielding a piece of broken glass.

Officers attended The Broadway area of the town where CCTV had captured the pair kicking a phone box and smashing a glass pane.

Bowles was seen ambling through the town swinging the piece of wood around.

He said that when the officers approached, she threatened them with the plank and put up a fight and had to be bundled to the ground and cuffed.

Hopwood, of Colville Crescent, Colburn, admitted public disorder, criminal damage, making a hoax 999 call and possessing an offensive weapon.

Bowles, from Richmond, admitted the same offences on August 4 and 9.

Hopwood had 19 previous convictions for 47 offences including being drunk and disorderly, police assault, resisting arrest and breaching court orders and Asbos.

In January last year, she was given an eight-week suspended prison sentence for assaulting three police officers, public disorder and possessing an offensive weapon, namely a metal pole.

Bowles had five previous convictions including criminal damage, resisting a police officer, public disorder and an arson which caused almost £9,000 worth of damage to commercial premises in Catterick. She received a suspended prison sentence for this last year.

Judge Paul Batty branded the pair “drunken louts” and “utterly lawless”.

He said prison was inevitable, adding: “You seem to have little or no regard for the good people of Catterick Garrison.

“You seem to have a deep-seated hatred of the authorities, in particular the police, (as evidenced by) the hoax telephone calls and the luring of police to the area so you could… goad them and threaten them.

“You were behaving in a positively Neanderthal fashion towards authority.”

Jailing Bowles and Hopwood for 13 months apiece, he added: “These sentences are the very least the court can impose.”

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