A WOMAN has narrowly escaped an immediate prison sentence for threatening a neighbour with a knife as she was celebrating Bonfire Night in Barrow.

Samantha Singleton, of Schooner Street, approached a woman in a back alley between Mount Pleasant and Storey Square at 10:10 pm on November 4 2022, Preston Crown Court heard.

Prosecutor Keira Shaw said the victim was preparing to light fireworks in celebration of Guy Fawkes Night with her children and some friends when the defendant produced a knife from behind her back.

Ms Shaw said the defendant – aged 37 - then pushed her to the floor with her other hand and described how the knife was visible to everyone present.

She told the court the complainant shouted for everyone to get into her back yard and inside as she feared she was at risk of being attacked by the defendant.

The court heard Singleton shouted: ‘I will come to your door’, before eventually leaving the area.

A summary of the complainant’s victim impact statement was read into the record by Ms Shaw.

It detailed how her children were worried about attending anywhere near the defendant’s property and that the victim was worried about the possibility of further confrontations with the defendant.

Ms Shaw added the complainant’s daughter wouldn’t leave her side and that her son had also had instances of urinating in his sleep.

Singleton was also sentenced on June 11 for assaulting an emergency worker exactly one year later on November 4 2023 whilst intoxicated when punching PC Robinson to her chin.

It comes after she had been arrested for an allegation of assaulting a male occasioning him actual bodily harm.

The court heard Singleton was subject to a community order for another offence of assaulting an emergency worker at the time of that offence.

In mitigation, Betsy Hindle said the defendant’s family issues and alcohol were the main reasons for her offending.

Ms Hindle said: “Her former partner is now serving a prison sentence for an assault against her.

“That charge and what she has consequently gone through was the catalyst for drinking and for the decline in her mental health.

“She does not condone her actions. She displays remorse and is disgusted about how she has behaved towards others.

“She is trying her absolute best and doing everything in her power to improve herself.

“She tells me she has a tenancy in her own name and that she is now alcohol free. She knows her life is significantly better when that is the case.

“If she is sent to custody, she will find herself in a position where she spirals out of control again.”

The court was told Singleton had six previous convictions for seven offences.

After taking 20 minutes in retirement to consider her verdict, Recorder Ayesha Siddiqi concluded that she could impose a 23-month sentence suspended for two years order due to the defendant’s personal mitigation, and her having a realistic prospect of rehabilitation.

Recorder Siddiqi said: “You do not need me to tell you how scary it must have been for your victim and children present when you produced the knife.

“Police officers should also be able to go about their jobs without people assaulting them.”

As part of the sentence, Singleton is now required to complete a six-month alcohol treatment requirement program and 25 rehabilitation requirement days.