TRAFFIC came to an abrupt halt - as a scuffle between two drunken women spilled onto the street.

Barnsley Magistrates' Court heard that Tina Stewart, 42, who had been recovering from a throat cancer operation, and another woman were in a stopping place for pedestrians at the junction of Doncaster Road and Cemetery Road, said Jayne Ormrod, prosecuting.

She said Stewart, who only months earlier had feared she had not long to live, kicked the other woman onto the ground. A man had tried to intervene but was bitten by Stewart's dog.

"The women occasionally went into the middle of the road during the scuffle and traffic had to stop," Mrs Ormrod said.

Earlier, Stewart had lashed out with a dog lead five times at a group of people in a garden.

Mrs Ormrod said Stewart attacked a woman outside the Jobcentre in Peel Street on another occasion when she was 'stressed out' during earlier stages of her illness.

Mrs Ormrod said Stewart, of St Joseph's Gardens, Kendray, punched Patricia Robinson in the face. Stewart, who was drunk, said she 'lost it'.

The victim, who suffered cuts to the inside of her cheek, said Stewart had acted like 'a raving nutter'.

Two days after that assault, Stewart scratched the face of her partner, Ryan Jones.

Alan Greaves, defending, said the scuffle at the Doncaster Road/Cemetery Road junction had been sparked by a remark about her illness.

Mr Greaves said: "Miss Stewart has a short fuse. Months earlier, she had feared the worst. She did not know how long she had left.

"She committed the two assaults, had an operation, underwent recovery and then became involved in the scuffle with the other woman."

District Judge John Foster described Stewart's behaviour as 'unacceptable' despite her serious illness. "You need to be strong. Your behaviour showed weakness," he said.

Stewart, who admitted threatening behaviour and two assaults, was given a 20-week prison sentence, suspended for a year.

She was also ordered to pay £100 in compensation to Patricia Robinson, costs of £100 and a victim surcharge of £80.