A WOMAN accused of threatening to “set fire” to her probation officer’s car has been given a suspended prison sentence.
Jessica Prentice had been accused of making threats to kill and threatening to damage the office and property belonging to the female officer in charge of her case.
Prosecutor Sam Faulks told Durham Crown Court the threats were made in a series of conversations between the women, and indirectly to one of her colleagues.
Mr Faulks added: “The remarks included ‘I will paint strip her car and set fire to it,’ and a threat to find out where the probation officer lives.
“A doctor who examined Ms Prentice found she had ‘homicidal ideation’ towards the officer, in that she had thought about killing her, but had done nothing about it.”
Prentice, 21, of Donnison Gardens, in Sunderland’s East End, admitted three charges of threatening to damage property.
She denied making threats to kill, and was found not guilty of that charge after the prosecution said it would not be pursued.
Jamie Adams, defending, said in mitigation: “This offending passes the custody threshold, but Ms Prentice has served three months in prison on remand.
“In her interviews with the police she expressed a wish to apologise to the probation officer.
“There was nothing sinister in what she did, although she knows it was entirely wrong to do it,”
Judge Christopher Prince sentenced Prentice to eight months in prison, suspended for 18 months, and an 18-month supervision order.
The judge told her: “Making any kind of threat to a professional working in the justice system is a serious matter.
“It merits custody, and you have served three months in prison which I read you did not like.
“You will now be released, but on a tight rein.
“Fail to comply with the supervision order and you will go back inside.”
Prentice was made the subject of an indefinite restraining order banning her from contacting or coming within 100 metres of the probation officer.