A drunk woman brandished an axe and yelled “do you want to die” as a friend pushed her down Manchester Road in a wheelbarrow.

Aleksandra Wojciechowska went on to bite a policeman’s hand and later claimed to have coronavirus.

District Judge Joanna Dickens sent the case to the crown court, telling the 36-year-old the matter was too serious to be dealt with at the magistrates’ court.

Bailing the woman to appear before Swindon Crown Court on November 27, she said: “This offence is just too serious for me to deal with.

“It’s one of the most serious offences of offensive weapons I’ve dealt with for a long time. When you wield an axe around you create very, very serious danger to people.

“While you may have been out of it on alcohol, for people in the street dealing with you it would have been absolutely terrifying and could have been incredibly serious.”

Earlier, prosecutor Keith Ballinger told the court that police had been called out to Manchester Road on April 9 after reports of a woman being pushed along in a wheelbarrow.

According to the reports, she was brandishing the axe and shouting “do you want to die?”

When police caught up with Wojciechowska on Salisbury Street she was extremely drunk – as was the man with her. She was arrested and, while being taken into custody, bit PC Craig Head on the hand. The bite left no visible mark.

Mr Ballinger said: “She’s also made a comment to them that she has covid and she would cough in her [the police officer’s] face back at the police station.”

A month later, on May 23, she was arrested in the wake of a disastrous barbecue that spread to a house in Station Road.

While being kept in a holding cell at Gablecross police station she placed her hands on a female police officer’s buttocks.

Defending, Mark Glendenning said his client had had an issue with alcohol. On April 9 she had been drinking with friends and left with a male pal to go to the shops to stock up on booze. En route to the store they stumbled across a wheelbarrow and tools.

She had not threatened anyone with the axe. “She says it was a joke,” Mr Glendenning said – describing it as “ill-judged humour”.

Following the incident in May she had been very distressed. The decision to touch the officer’s bottom had been “stupidity as opposed to criminality”, her solicitor said.

He asked the judge to consider suspending any sentence of imprisonment.

Wojciechowska, of Deacon Street, pleaded guilty to possession of a bladed article, assaulting an emergency worker and common assault.

She had faced a charge of breaching the coronavirus regulations for being out of the house without a reasonable excuse in April, although this was withdrawn at an earlier court hearing.

Last month, the man pushing the wheelharrow, Michael Rajski, 42, of Groundwell Road, admitted using threatening or abusive words or behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress. He was fined £200 and ordered to pay £85 costs.