Portsmouth woman put behind bars for Christmas by judge for being drunk in court has courtroom showdown with same judge amid meat cleaver row

A WOMAN put behind bars by a judge for Christmas after she turned up drunk for her court sentence was back for a courtroom showdown with the same judge.

By Steve Deeks
Monday, 17th January 2022, 4:55 am

But after spending more than a month in a cell Donna Urquhart, 43, was sober and contrite on this occasion at Portsmouth Crown Court.

The mum was being sentenced for an affray where she lashed out with a baseball bat and said she was stabbed in the head with a meat cleaver.

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Portsmouth Crown Court Picture: Chris Moorhouse

In December Urquhart paid the price for her blatant drunkenness in court when judge William Ashworth locked her up – sparking a foul-mouthed onslaught against the judge by a male friend of the defendant.

The man brazenly mocked the judge’s ‘silly wig’ and asked if he was ‘having a laugh’ for locking up Urquhart.

Security then intervened in an attempt to quell spiralling ugly scenes as Urquhart was taken down to custody while her friend was ushered from the court.

On Friday, judge Ashworth and Urquhart faced each other again.

The judge said: ‘I hope you appreciate why I did what I did before Christmas.’

He then suggested she should be careful who she mixes with after referring to the ‘guy who was giving it to me’.

Judge Ashworth also stressed the importance of overcoming her alcohol demons. ‘You can’t parent when you are drunk,’ he said.

He then handed out an 18-month community order with an alcohol treatment requirement, 20 rehabilitation days and an electronic tag for two weeks from 6pm to 6am.

‘I am giving you some slack on this but don’t mess me about,’ the judge added.

Urquhart, of April Square, Buckland, had been involved in a street feud on nearby St Faith’s Road on April 9, 2020, where she brandished a baseball bat.

During the ‘scuffle’ where Urquhart was ‘swinging the bat’, she was accused of ‘hitting’ a woman with the weapon – but this was denied and not reflected in the charge.

Prosecutor Adam Squibbs said Urquhart was arrested by police following the incident and told them she had suffered a ‘large cut to the back of the head after being stabbed’.

In a statement to police, Urquhart said: ‘I was assaulted with a meat cleaver and had an injury to my head. I was only using reasonable force to defend myself.’

Chloe Rowsell, 22, of St Faith’s Road, was sentenced at the previous hearing in December after admitting her part in the affray.

She was handed a 12-month community order with 40 hours of unpaid work and an electronic tag from 7pm -7am until February 1.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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