A WOMAN who used a machete and BB gun to threaten a burglar who had stolen cash she had saved up to spend on Christmas presents for her family has avoided jail.
Jay Brookes (41), of Co-operative Street, Goldthorpe, was given 12 months in prison, suspended for two years, at Sheffield Crown Court on Monday.
Mr Ian Mullarkey, prosecuting, said police had found Brookes at the junction of High Street and Jackson Street at about 1.40am on November 7 after reports of a woman on the High Street with a machete.
They searched the area with a torch and found a machete with a blade about a foot long.
Officers searched her and found a small BB gun which she said did not work, Mr Mullarkey said.
Brookes told officers she had brought the gun out with her because she was “sick of everyone bullying her’”
She said someone had been in her house and robbed her.
Brookes told officers in interview that she had been counting out money which she wanted to spend on her children and grandchildren.
She said she had left the money out on the side and a burglar had taken the money from her.
Brookes said she had gone out looking for the offender armed with the machete and the BB gun.
She admitted possession of an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear of violence and possession of a bladed article at an earlier hearing at Sheffield Crown Court.
Mitigating, Ms Laura Marshall said: “In a sober state of mind, she wouldn’t dream of going out and confronting this man, but she was upset because everything she had worked for to provide for her children and grandchildren had gone.
“As a result of this process, the male that came and took the money from her, who knew that she had been charged, has put the windows of her property through.”
Ms Marshall said Brookes’ dog had been poisoned too.
“She was never going to do anything to that man,” she said.
“She is 4ft 11 and he was over six feet tall.”
Recorder Paul Kirtley gave Brookes a 12 month prison sentence, suspended for two years.
He said: “I don’t have to tell you this was a dreadful decision on your part.
“It’s wholly unacceptable behaviour.
“You’re not exactly in the first flush of youth and you’re old enough to know better.
“This court has to consider what is in the best interests of the public and there’s no doubt these two offences require a term of imprisonment.”
Mr Kirtley said he had been persuaded that Brookes should be spared prison.
“This is an opportunity — do not fail yourself or your children,” he said.
Mr Kirtley ordered Brookes to complete up to 30 days of rehabilitation activity requirement.