A Sheffield woman brandished a knife at her neighbour’s mother, following a disagreement over a wheelie bin.
Sheffield Crown Court heard how Amanda Shepard, 43, made the threat on the afternoon of September 28 this year, following a number of disagreements with the complainant and her son, who lives above her.
Prior to the incident taking place, Shepard had become involved in another argument with the complainant, who was visiting her son, over the positioning of his wheelie bin, said James Gould, prosecuting.
“She appeared on her doorstep with a knife, saying: ‘Do you want me to show you?’ said Mr Gould.
He added: “In interview she said it had taken place against the background of problems with noise and had just flipped and got the knife.”
Mr Gould told the court that Shepard, of Main Street, Hackenthorpe was convicted of possessing a weapon in 1999, adding that her most recent conviction was over 15 years ago.
Shepard pleaded guilty to possession of a bladed article at an earlier hearing.
Francis Edusei, defending, said Shepard had lived in her property for six years and was thought of very highly by her neighbours, some of whom believed she had been bullied by the complainant and her son.
“There have been exchanges between the two groups. Ms Shepard isn’t the most robust of individuals, and in this case something as small as the bin was the issue and culminated in a knife being brought out,” said Mr Edusei.
Referring to her previous conviction for use of a weapon, he added: “In 1999, Ms Shepard was in an abusive relationship and was given pepper spray to protect herself.”
He told the judge, Recorder Darren Preston, that while sentencing guidelines stated that a second conviction for possessing a weapon should result in a mandatory six month sentence, Shepard met the criteria for such a sentence being deemed ‘unjust’.
Recorder Preston agreed with Mr Edusei’s submission, and sentenced Shepard to eight months in prison, suspended for 12 months.
He told her: “You have mental health issues and health issues, and it seems to me that you are properly described by Mr Edusei as a vulnerable individual yourself...I can find circumstances that render it unjust for you to go to custody, given your mental health problems, given the background to this case that exists.”