A woman who attacked a young girl in Bolton and told her she was going to kill her has been spared jail.

The 15-year-old victim was walking past Bolton Rugby Club when she came across Emma Jones, who appeared to be talking to a tree.

Bolton Crown Court heard Jones then followed the teenager, grabbed her from behind and pulled her hair.

Jones said she was going to kill the teen and appeared to be pulling her towards woodland.

The attacker pulled out a chunk of the victim's hair, leaving the girl with a bald spot.

Sophie Kenny, prosecuting, revealed how the incident came to an end.

She told the court: "She [the victim] got away, she came across two police officers and described Miss Jones to them.

"They told her to wait inside a nearby Covid-19 centre while they made enquiries to search for the defendant.

"They located Miss Jones, she identified that was the person that had committed the offence."

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Ms Kenny said the incident had exacerbated the victim's anxiety and panic attacks and she was too afraid to return to the area.

Jones, 40, had been due to go on trial accused of actual bodily harm during the incident in March last year but did not attend court - she was convicted in her absence.

David Bentley, defending, said: "This was a truly awful incident."

He added Jones had issues with substance misuse in particular amphetamines and difficulties with her mental health.

Mr Bentley said she had jumped out of a window from her home earlier that day after police were called due to concerns for her welfare.

He told the court Jones had served the equivalent of a year in prison already at the better thing would be for her to be given the chance for rehabilitation under supervision.

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Judge Tom Gilbart said: "Upon careful reflection, I agree with Mr Bentley's submission.

"The better thing for the public at large would be for you to be given the chance to do work in relation to the issues you have."

He suspended Jones' custodial sentence of 20 months and one week in prison for two years. The extra week was for her failure to attend court.

Judge Gilbart ordered Jones to carry out 30 rehabilitation activity requirement days, placed her on a drug rehabilitation requirement to run for nine months and ordered her to remain at her home on Pryce Street, Bolton, between 7pm and 7am for nine months.