A woman who tried to attack a security guard with a knife in Swindon Borough Council’s offices has been given a hospital order.

Jodie Howton had followed a staff member through a private entrance into Wat Tyler House on January 23 and demanded to see a social worker.

The 30-year-old was confronted by a female security guard and punched her in the face. Howton pulled a knife on a male guard who came to his colleague’s aid. She was eventually restrained and police were called.

Swindon Crown Court heard she was responsible for a string of other offences.

On September 4, police were called to her parent’s home on Lister Road after she threw a television and mirror into the garden in a fit of anger. A week later officers were again called to the house. Howton admitted she had scratched a kitchen window. She scratched the arm of one of the officers called to the scene and bit his left hand.

Later that month she peppered a personal trainer at Kiss Gym, which she used to attend, with messages pretending to be from a Jodie Hill. The messages stopped briefly when the personal trainer spoke to Howton’s step-father. They resumed on October 13.

Howton, who received a police caution in 2018 for sending the same trainer 100 messages, told police she knew the man did not want her to text him. She claimed she was probably drunk.

The court heard she attacked a taxi driver on December 20. She had been picked up by the driver outside the Great Western Hospital. When she was asked to pay the £5 fare she refused. Before her brother could pay the sum Howton punched the driver in the arm. She shouted: “F*** you, English people should do this job.” The taxi driver began recording the exchange on his mobile phone, with Howton calling him a foreigner.

On January 18, she smashed a flowerpot at her parents’ home. Howton’s mother felt she had no option other than call the police. Officers asked the daughter to clean up the mess she had left and was asked to leave. Two hours later she was back and continued to smash objects in the garden.

Howton also faced an allegation she had not paid her £52 fare for a journey from Swindon to Basingstoke on New Year’s Day.

Swindon Crown Court heard she had learning difficulties. Judge Peter Crabtree praised the efforts of her defence solicitor, Rob Ross, in collecting the medical evidence and noted that a place had been found for her at a treatment facility in Norfolk.

Appearing via video link from HMP Eastwood Park near Bristol, Howton, formerly of Lister Road, Wroughton, admitted possession of a bladed article, racially aggravated assault by beating, simple battery, assaulting an emergency worker, criminal damage, harassment and fare dodging.

Ordering her detention under section 37 of the Mental Health Act, Judge Crabtree said: “It’s been a long time coming, Miss Howton, and, mainly through the efforts of Mr Ross to get the right reports, that’s the right outcome.”