Woman who threatened to kill homeless man who refused chips in Nailsea High Street spared jail

Where the incident took place. Picture: GoogleMaps

Where the incident took place. Picture: GoogleMaps - Credit: GoogleMaps

A Nailsea woman who threatened to kill a homeless man after he refused her offer of food has been spared jail.

Briggette Saunders lunged at Steven Higgins, who was sat in a doorway by Waitrose in High Street, with a steak knife on August 31, 2018.

Saunders pleaded guilty to threatening Mr Higgins with a knife and assaulting a PCSO while in police custody.

The court heard Saunders, aged 36, approached the victim offering him some food from the chip shop.

But when Mr Higgins turned down the offer, she became agitated and he mentioned her to nearby police officers.

Saunders, of Clevedon Road, returned again 20 minutes later with a box of steak and chips and a bottle of vodka, but her behaviour changed when he declined the offer again and she said she was 'going to kill him'.

Saunders accused Mr Higgins of being 'a police grass' and told the victim 'I don't think people like you are supposed to be here'.

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Judge Peter Blair chose to defer her sentence to Friday to give her time to work with the mental health services.

Farah Rashid, defending, said Saunders has a number of 'mental health concerns'.

She said: "The time spent with the mental health services has been extremely valuable.

"The defendant has had a number of mental health concerns from a young age and has previously found it difficult to engage with support services.

"She knows there's still a lot of work to be done and will grasp it with both hands."

In total, Saunders received a 10-month sentence, suspended for 12 months.

She must undertake 25 days of rehabilitation activity requirement and pay a victim surcharge of £145.

Judge Blair was impressed with Saunders' behaviour.

He said: "I have been very encouraged by your approach to me deferring your sentence, I know this has not been easy for you to address these issues.

"It's important you continue with your therapy and I think this is quite a big commitment we are asking of you and something which requires resolve and determination, which is tricky given your fragile state.

"You know the consequences if you do not treat this seriously, but I have every confidence you will do and I wish very well for the future."