Custody for woman who brandished knife in front of boys

A woman described as a “menace” has been remanded in custody after she admitted breaching the peace and brandishing a knife in front of two teenage boys.

Sarah Patterson, 29, of Hoofields in Lerwick, was drunk when she made a nuisance of herself at the Esplanade yesterday afternoon.

At the town’s court today she admitted shouting, swearing, making threats and brandishing a knife.

Police had already spoken to her about her behaviour when she stood on the edge of the pier making a show of attempting to jump into the water.

Her antics were noticed by two boys – a 13-year-old and a 14-year-old – who were onboard a boat, and doing their best to ignore her. But she approached them and told them she was going to kill herself.

At one point she went down into the boat, placing the boys “in a heightened state of awareness”.

Procurator fiscal Duncan MacKenzie said Patterson soon  began shouting and swearing at the boys, and found a knife which she used to pretend she was slashing her wrists.

“These boys had no idea how to deal with the situation. In fairness, who would?” Mr MacKenzie said. “It’s difficult to properly convey and articulate just how difficult a situation she imposed upon these young boys.

“They did their best and attempted to remove the knife from her, but she pulled the knife away from them, raising it above her head, shouting and swearing at them, and they felt threatened by her brandishing the knife.”

The court heard that Patterson was later put into a taxi and taken away from the scene. The police were called, who caught up with her at her home address.

“She had a lengthy record and comes to the police’s attention on a regular basis,” the fiscal added. “Quite simply she is a menace to the police, the public and to a lesser degree herself.”

Sheriff Philip Mann ordered background reports. But he warned Patterson a custodial sentence was the likely outcome to the case.

“Because of your record and the seriousness of this offence I feel I have no alternative but to remand you in custody,” he told her.

Patterson will appear in court again on 6th January.


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