A BRAVE Carlisle police officer suffered a knife wound to his hand as he tried to disarm a suicidal woman who wanted to cut herself.

At the city's crown court, a judge drew back from jailing Tanya Butler, who had drunk two litres of vodka before she found herself involved in the struggle with PC Daniel Thompson.

She admitted assaulting the officer, causing him actual bodily harm.

Prosecutor Brendan Burke outlined the background to the offence, which followed an incident on February 28, when Butler, 40, was found on the line near Carlisle's rail station.

"The defendant was drunk and actually on the tracks," said the barrister. "She was suffering from mental health problems."

British Transport Police officers rescued, taking her to hospital, though she was later given a small fine for trespassing on the railway. PC Thompson was later asked to track down Butler so that he could check on her welfare and ensure she was okay.

He found her at her mother's home, clearly still drunk.

She confirmed that she had consumed two litres of vodka that day, and the officer decided he needed to call a local mental health team so she could be further supported.

As he made the call, Butler went into the kitchen, declaring that she wanted to get a knife.

"She lunged at the knife block," said Mr Burke.

"The officer did the same, ironically at the moment when the mental health team were calling him back."

In the ensuing struggle, as the officer tried to wrest the knife from her hand, he suffered cut to his hand, which needed five stitches.

During the struggle, the officer had activated his panic button, but worryingly it did not work, said Mr Burke.

After the incident, Butler kept repeating that she was sorry. She said she was not even conscious that the officer was in the kitchen when it happened.

Now aged 40, Butler had been a woman of good character until 2016, after when she was convicted of dangerous driving, and aggravated vehicle taking.

Mark Shepherd, for Butler, from Raffles Avenue, Raffles, Carlisle, said she had asked that the judge impose a curfew in the hope that this will help her avoid buying alcohol.

"She feels it would help massively," said the lawyer.

Judge James Adkin imposed an eight month jail term, suspending it for two years, along with a four month 7pm to 7am curfew, a 12 month community order, and a six month alcohol treatment programme.

She must also complete 30 rehabilitation activity days.

"If you commit further offences, you will serve the eight months prison sentence, plus any other sentence you are given," warned the judge.