A WOMAN had to be disarmed by police after lunging at her ex-partner with a craft knife.

Bolton Crown Court heard how officers were called to Emma Barnett's home, where her long-term partner, who was on bail for attacking her, had turned up on December 19 last year.

Verity Quaite, prosecuting, told how Christopher Holland was talking with the officers and the situation was calm when 30-year-old Barnett entered the living room, with her arm outstretched, clutching a craft knife.

Fortunately, before she could reach Mr Holland, police grabbed the knife from her, although she still managed to bite his arm.

Barnett, of The Welland, Westhoughton, pleaded guilty to causing actual bodily harm.

The court heard that Barnett has a previous conviction for assaulting a police officer.

Nicholas Ross, defending, told the court that Barnett and Holland had a toxic 10 year relationship during which she gave birth to seven children, all of whom have been taken into care.

The couple have both been involved in violence against each other and Mrs Ross said Barnett accepts she acted impulsively in lunging at Mr Holland.

"The defendant says, with considerable shame and embarrassment that it was, in many respects, her last opportunity, in her mind, to seek out some retaliation or retribution," said Mr Ross.

"At the time, she concedes with absolute candour, she felt almost justified but she understands now, with hindsight, that what she did was wholly inexcusable."

He added that the relationship is now at an end and she has found a new partner.

Judge Graeme Smith sentenced Barnett to a 12-month community order during which she will be subject to an 8pm to 7am electronically tagged curfew for two months and must participate in 20 days of rehabilitation activities.

The judge told Barnett: "On the face of it the offence for which I am sentencing you is a particularly stupid one — attempting to attack someone with a knife in full view of police officers in not something which any rationally thinking person would do.

"I think that is the key to the issue."

He added that she has had a number of difficulties in her life.

"Perhaps the best thing that can be said is that you both now realise that it is a toxic relationship that is not doing either of you any good and you are both in a position to move on from it.

"It is perhaps an unhappy conclusion to the relationship that both of you have ended up with convictions for violence against the other."