A WOMAN threatened to kill and set alight her brother’s Barrow home in the middle of the night, a court heard.

Prosecutor Emily Land told a court a neighbour woke to the sound of a woman screaming at 2am on September 12 last year.

Ms Land said the defendant – Andrea Brierley, of Egerton Court, Barrow - shouted: ‘I am going to kill you’ and ‘ I am going to burn your flat down’ to her brother, who she was living with at the time.

The court was told the 56-year-old stopped screaming and went back to sleep until 8:30 am when she began to cause a disturbance again.

Ms Land said the complainant swore at his sister and told her to stop shouting as he wanted to go back to sleep.

The court heard Brierley also called another complainant, who was walking his dog at the time, an offensive name after he made a comment about her behaviour.

As a result, police were called and the defendant was arrested. She was taken to Barrow custody where she refused to cooperate with interviews, the court heard.

The court was not told of the reason why Brierley had threatened to destroy her brother’s property.

In mitigation, Alex Bennie said his clients ‘complex mental health needs’ were not being met.

Mr Bennie added: “She has been in custody since November and has been placed on medication in prison which is helping her.

“She has a very complex past and does not have stable accommodation. No-one has been able to offer her any housing.

"She will either be homeless or fall back on the accommodation with her brother again.

“It is clear her brother has his own mental health needs and is terminally ill. She is extremely keen to be able to look after him.

“There must be some intervention that can assist her to reduce her risk.”

She was sentenced at Preston Crown Court after pleading guilty to threatening to damage / destroy property and using threatening / abusive / insulting words / behaviour to cause harassment / alarm / distress.

The court heard Brierley had 17 previous convictions for 21 offences.

Sentencing Brierley to a 12-month community order with 20 rehabilitation requirement days, His Honour Judge Graham Knowles KC said: “I find it very disturbing that probation could not offer any kind of pre-sentence report.

“These offences are heavily aggravated by your previous convictions. However, your mental health is powerful mitigation. Your mixed affective disorder means there are things you might believe which are not totally right.

“I want to avoid you going back to prison at the moment. I cannot cheat the judicial system by giving you a longer sentence.

“I am powerless to help you, your brother and the public. You need support taking your medication so you can go back to the life you lived for so many years.”