A woman who threatened to break her neighbour’s legs with a bat has narrowly escaped going to jail.
Audrey Sharpe was recorded making the threats by the female victim, Craigavon Magistrates Court heard.
Sentencing Sharpe, District Judge Bernie Kelly told the 53-year-old she had “you broke both golden rules” of parenthood.”
“Don’t believe anything your child tells you and two, never get involved in a row over your child because that’s how neighbourhood disputes start,” said the judge.
“You broke both golden rules in one fell swoop and you cannot behave like this,” she added Imposing a two month jail sentence but suspending it for 18 months.
At an earlier hearing Sharpe, from Drumbeg in Tullygally, admitted common assault of a female on December 19 last year.
Opening the facts of the case on Friday, a prosecutor said the victim used her mobile phone to record a “verbal argument” with Sharpe.
“The defendant threatened to break her legs,” said the lawyer adding that when Sharpe was questioned by police, she admitted making the threats with a bat.”
“She said she didn’t actually have a bat but she just wanted the injured party to believe that she had one,” said the lawyer.
Defence counsel Scott McWhinney conceded “the facts will be of concern to the court, obviously it’s a common assault but a rather nasty one.”
He added: “It’s the case of a mother trying to step in to protect her daughter but doing it in a wrong way,” said the lawyer who said the offence had put Sharpe “in a very precarious position.”
Although Mr McWhinney revealed that Sharpe “suffers from poor health,” DJ Kelly said that poor health “doesn’t stop her from terrorising her neighbours.”
“The best of it is, it wasn’t her fight, she involved herself in something that had nothing to do with her,” said the judge adding that the offence was so serious it warranted a jail sentence.
Suspending the two month sentence for 18 months and imposing a two year restraining order, DJ Kelly warned Sharpe if she committed further offences in that time she would serve the two months in addition to any other sentence.
It’s not the first time that Sharpe has been before the court.
In 2019 she was involved in a mammoth case where a total of 41 people were charged with taking part in an illegal republican parade in the Kilwilkie Estate in March 2016 and with wearing clothing, namely berets, military jumpers etc, giving rise to a reasonable suspicion that she was a “member or supporter of a proscribed organisation.”
However the Public Prosecution Service later withdrew the charges.