A WOMAN who went to keep an appointment at Darwen Resource Centre was armed with a knife.

Blackburn magistrates heard a member of staff heard Joanne Elizabeth Maxwell say she was going to stab her.

And after hurriedly going back behind the reception desk she saw Maxwell produce the knife and stab it into the upholstery of the chair she had been sitting on moments earlier.

Maxwell, 37, of Lynwood Avenue, Darwen, pleaded guilty to affray and possessing a bladed article in a public place. She was sent on bail to be sentenced at Preston Crown Court after the magistrates ruled their powers were insufficient.

Parveen Akhtar, prosecuting, said Maxwell went into the resource centre on Edward Street at 1.30 pm on Tuesday for an appointment with the community health team.

"She made it clear she didn't want Jane Hanson, who was behind the reception desk, sitting in on the appointment," said Miss Akhtar.

"Miss Hanson could see the defendant was upset and went into the reception area to speak to her and sat down next to her."

Miss Hanson overheard Maxwell talking on her phone and she said; "She is here, that woman, I'm going to stab her.

"Miss Hanson was alarmed and went back behind the reception desk," said Miss Akhtar.

"She could see the defendant had a knife in her hand and she then stabbed the knife into the chair where Miss Hanson had been sitting."

Police arrived shortly after and saw Maxwell on Edward Street. She refused to put the knife down when instructed by police but a friend turned up in a taxi and persuaded her to drop the weapon.

Maxwell later told police she wanted to stab Miss Hanson because she interfered.

Gareth Price, defending, said he couldn't reasonably put forward an argument that would persuade the magistrates to deal with his client.

READ > Tributes as Blackburn schoolgirl, 13, dies in M61 horror smash

He said there had been a previous meeting with a psychiatrist and Miss Hanson had been present.

"My client's perception was that that lady had been interfering in that session and she didn't want her sitting in again," said Mr Price.

"The way she went about that was clearly not acceptable."