Sunderland beggar threatened to 'slice up' man unless he gave her cash
A beggar who threatened to "slice up" a passer-by unless he handed over cash has been spared jail.
Deborah Archer had been "pestering" people for money in the early hours of the morning but told two men, who had already handed over some change, she wanted more.Newcastle Crown Court heard the two pals told the drunk 39-year-old to "go away".But prosecutor Kevin Wardlaw told the court: "She reached into her jacket pocket and pulled out a stanley knife and threatened one of them with it."The court Archer then turned to the other man and warned "give me some money or I will slice you up".The men got away unharmed and contacted the police, who arrested Archer, who still had the knife.
Archer, of The Royalty, Sunderland, who has convictions for 53 previous offences, admitted possessing a bladed article and attempted robbery.The incident in Newcastle city centre was captured on CCTV, which was played in court.Judge Amanda Rippon sentenced her to two years imprisonment, suspended for two years, with rehabilitation requirements and a four month nighttime curfew.The judge said the jail term could be suspended in Archer's particular circumstances as a result of her personal background circumstances.But Judge Rippon warned: "People that carry knives now must expect prison sentences."So many people are dying at the hands of people carrying knives and so many more think it's acceptable to carry knives and it is not."When knives are produced, people get hurt, including the person holding the knife. "Andrew Walker, defending, said Archer did not lunge at the victims with the weapon or try to cause any injury.Mr Walker added: "She was begging, persistently, I accept."She was looking on the floor for coins that had been put there, or dropped there, which is a pitiful sight, frankly.The court heard one of the men had told police he "wasn't particularly concerned" by what happened and the other did not make a victim impact statement.