Nailsea woman lunged at homeless man with steak knife
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A Nailsea woman who threatened to kill a homeless man after he refused her offer of chips must wait four months to be sentenced.
Briggette Saunders lunged at Steven Higgins, who was sat in a doorway by Waitrose in Nailsea's High Street, with a steak knife on August 31.
Saunders pleaded guilty at Bristol Crown Court yesterday (Tuesday) to threatening Mr Higgins with a knife and for assaulting a prison officer.
The court heard Saunders, aged 36, approached the victim offering him some food from the chip shop.
But when the homeless man declined the offer, the defendant launched into a tirade of abuse and threatened to kill him.
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Julian Howells, prosecuting, said: "After he refused, 10-15 minutes later the defendant returned with a box of steak and chips. He declined again and she told the victim 'I don't think people like you are supposed to be here'.
"She later returned 20 minutes later with the food and a bottle of vodka where her behaviour changed and she said she was 'going to kill him'."
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The court heard witnesses had seen Saunders acting erratically towards the victim and had something in her hands.
Mr Howells said: "She shouted she was going to kill him and that he was a 'police grass' after calling the police over previously.
"She lunged in a stabbing motion towards Mr Higgins, where he dodged out of the way and witnesses heard him exclaiming 'she has got a knife' and 'she is going to kill me'."
Witnesses came to the shaken rough sleeper's rescue and took him into the Coates House pub.
She was found by officers on a bench nearby with a bloodied hand and cutlery, including a blood- stained steak knife, in her bag.
Saunders was taken into custody where she cooperated before lashing out and hitting custody officer Jennifer Eaton in the eye with the back of her hand.
Farah Williams, defending, told the court of Saunders' extensive mental health issues and how she had recently lost of her long-term nurse which had caused her 'mental health to spiral'.
Judge Peter Blair chose to defer Saunders' sentence to September 30 to give her time to work with mental health services. He told Saunders, of Clevedon Road, if she worked with them, she can expect a 10-month suspended sentence. If not, she faces jail.