‘Scary Mary’ back before the court

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A ROTHBURY woman, known locally as Scary Mary, was given a 12-month community order for breaching her Asbo.

June Clifford, 55, of Addycombe Gardens, pleaded guilty at Alnwick Magistrates Court to breaching her anti-social behaviour order, which bans her from engaging in conduct likely to cause offence in a specific area of Rothbury. She had initially pleaded not guilty and elected to be tried at crown court but changed her plea.

She also pleaded guilty to a separate offence of using threatening words/behaviour to cause alarm, harassment or distress for which she received an absolute discharge.

The use of threatening words and behaviour took place in November when Clifford shouted abuse at a woman in the street.

Witnesses reported Clifford shouting abuse and saying: “I suggest you disappear before I put you in the ground.”

One man, who lives and works in Rothbury and who saw the incident, said: “Her conduct in public is alarming and upsetting.”

The breach of the Asbo came about in December when Clifford berated her new neighbour for making noise while putting up wardrobes after moving in.

When Clifford confronted him, he said that “every fourth or fifth word was the ‘f’ word.”

Barry Row, defending, told the court: “Perhaps in the past people might have been more tolerant to people who go around the streets growling and muttering to themselves.”

He said that the community bullies Clifford by calling her names such as Scary Mary, before adding: “When she is sober and in the cold light of day, she is horrified by her behaviour.”

Nicola Bridgeman, from the probation service, recommended a 12-month community order with a supervision requirement to help Clifford to deal with the alcohol issues which are linked to her offending.