A WOMAN who admitted a public order offence has narrowly avoided jail but faces magistrates again soon.

Gemma Payne admitted using threatening, abusive words or behaviour or disorderly behaviour within the hearing of or sight of a person likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress when she appeared at Worcester Magistrates Court on Thursday, (October 21).

As previously reported, two women - one of which was Payne - could be seen exchanging blows behind a phone box outside Tesco Express in Foregate Street at 1.15pm on September 16 this year, and both hurled abuse at each other.

Payne's defence advocate, Paul Stanley, told magistrates the admitting of the public order offences breached a suspended jail sentence given to her in March.

Payne was given 16 weeks in jail, suspended for 18 months by magistrates after they heard she brutally attacked her girlfriend in front of her three children.

Mr Stanley appealed to magistrates not to activate the jail sentence at her latest court appearance.

Mr Stanley said: "The issue is how you proceed today.

"The public order can potentially put her in activation of a suspended sentence.

"Sentence guidance suggests, if a non-prisonable offence, the court would not do that.

"If it had been a more serious matter, then of course activation could have happened more easily."

Mr Stanley said it was important not to activate, as in March she was also handed a community order which included a thinking skills programme and rehabilitation activity requirement days - and if sentence was delayed it would give them a chance to later assess her progress.

"It would be crucial for her (to have that extra time)," Mr Stanley added.

He appealed to adjourn to the date of the trial for the assault, with Payne then being sentenced on either one or both alleged offences, depending on the trial's outcome.

Prosecutor Melanie Winterflood agreed it was the most sensible thing to do, and chairman of the magistrates David Shadwell agreed it was the "most pragmatic approach".

The chairman told Payne: "We will not be sentencing on that today.

"Sitting magistrates will deal with that after the trial."

A trial date was set for December 6, to be held at Worcester Magistrates Court.