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Drunken mum ‘had 8in knife in public’

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: February 05, 2013

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A DRUNKEN mother was caught by police with a kitchen knife in a Burton street, a court has heard.

Benefits claimant Bernadette Wood was carrying the 7in to 8in blade in a bag in East Street, Winshill, after walking from her Empire Road home, Burton Magistrates’ Court was told.

Emma Thompson, prosecuting, said police were called to the area in the early hours of December 30 last year following a report that the 41-year-old defendant had left home with the blade.

“She was clearly under the influence of alcohol,” the solicitor said, before explaining that the officer confronted Miss Wood and discovered the knife.

When interviewed by police, the defendant said she tended to wander off whenever she had drunk an excessive quantity of alcohol, which she had.

Wood could not remember taking the knife and could not explain why it was there, Mrs Thompson told the court.

The defendant told police she probably had the knife ‘in order to self-harm’, telling officers that she usually carried razor blades for the same purpose.

Wood was charged with possessing a blade in a public place – an offence she admitted at an earlier court hearing on January 14.

Neil O’Driscoll, defending, said the defendant neither threatened nor brandished the knife, adding: “Even if she was drunk, there’s no way on Earth she would have taken the knife out of the bag.”

Wood, he explained, had mental health problems and had recently seen a community psychiatric nurse.

“She says she had the knife in her bag because sometimes she self-harms,” Mr O’Driscoll told the court.

“This is a sad reflection on the individual and society as a whole.”

He said Wood, who had a young daughter, had stayed out of trouble for a long time and that all of her previous convictions were spent.

Mr O’Driscoll told magistrates: “She has shown some degree of maturity since seven years ago because she’s not been in trouble.”

Magistrates told Wood, who attended court wearing her hair in a pony tail and dressed in a dark coat, black trousers and shoes, to complete an 18-month community order with supervision.

They also instructed her to pay £85 costs and a £60 victim surcharge – at the rate of £10 a fortnight, with the first payment in 14 days – and ordered the forfeiture and destruction of the knife.

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