Had knife to ‘scare’ her partner

Editorial image.
Editorial image.

A woman who armed herself with a knife to ‘scare’ her partner, has appeared before Londonderry Magistrates Court.

She is Nicola McClaren (23), of Tullymore Road, who pleaded guilty to possession of an offensive weapon on March 2.

Londonderry Magistrates Court heard that police received a report of a woman with a knife in her hand in the William Street area of the city centre on the date in question.

Officers stopped the defendant a short distance away and noted she was “highly intoxicated and upset”.

She told police she had fallen out with her partner and he had taken their children away. A small kitchen knife was found approximately three metres away from McClaren.

During police interview she admitted having the knife on her and claimed she had taken it from her mother’s home to ‘scare’ her partner.

The court was told McClaren was in breach of a suspended sentence.

Defence counsel Steven Mooney said the knife was not on his client when she was arrested, but she admitted it was hers. He said McClaren had ‘damned herself to conviction by her own honesty’.

Mr Mooney told the court his client was a “very, very complex young lady with a myriad of problems” and she is trying to address those.

He added that his client’s children would suffer if she is sent to jail.

District Judge Barney McElholm told McClaren: “You can’t be running around threatening people with knives. Most men may be essentially useless but you can’t be taking a knife to them”.

Deferring sentencing until October, he warned McClaren if there were any further offences she was at risk of going to jail.