A woman with serious mental-health issues who was caught carrying a Gurkha knife in her home town has been spared jail.
Christine Marion Selkirk, from Alndale, Amble, was drunk when police found she had the weapon concealed in her jacket.
Officers had been alerted to the incident after the 49-year-old had made a call to the emergency services saying she was having suicidal thoughts.
She told police that she wasn’t going to hurt anybody with the blade, which she had been carrying during the afternoon of Friday, April 3. She was stopped on Amble’s Charles Road.
Speaking at Mid and South East Northumberland Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, Alan Brown, defending, said that his client realised the seriousness of the offence.
He said that Selkirk suffers mental illness and had recently spent three weeks at a psychiatric hospital as part of her continuing treatment.
Mr Brown told the court that Selkirk had been carrying the knife because she wanted to get rid of it.
He said: “The object was brought into the home by a partner who had used it to cut rhubarb, but she decided that she didn’t want it in the house.
“She was going to hide it in a place where it wouldn’t be found by anyone, so she went to a place to achieve that, but then she thought it might fall into the wrong hands.
“She made the call to the ambulance service – it was a cry for help – but the report concerned them and the police arrested her.
“There was no intention on her part to injure anyone and although she referred to suicidal thoughts, there was no intention to use the knife for that. She was worse for wear with drink and it wasn’t particularly wise to take to the streets with a weapon of this description. She recognises that.”
Selkirk pleaded guilty to the offence. Magistrates gave her a six-week prison sentence, suspended for a year. They said the offence was serious enough for custody, but recognised that she had mental-health issues and was receiving treatment. She was also ordered to pay £165 costs.