Sunderland woman jailed for fake firearm threats appeals against sentence
A woman jailed for threatening to kill social workers with a fake firearm is appealing against her sentence.
“Angry and unpredictable and abusive” Melain Brass was locked up for 15 months in August after admitting possessing an imitation weapon during the incident earlier this year at her Sunderland home.
Newcastle Crown Court was told one of the two social workers involved was “entirely terrified” when Brass ran towards her with what the judge, Mr Recorder Chris Smith, described as a “realistic imitation firearm”.
The court also heard that the terrified woman suffered nightmares, needed to take weeks off work, undertook counselling and has since had to change jobs.
Judge Smith added: "There was a significant and, even now, lasting effect of what you did that day.
"The reality is you intended to cause fear of violence and you did cause real fear of violence."
Brass, a 43-year-old mum, of Darwin Street, Southwick, however, has now launched a legal appeal against the sentence.
It will be heard by judges at the Court of Appeal, in London, on Tuesday, September 29.
August’s case learned that the second social worker who attended Brass’s house knew her well and was not scared by her actions.
The court was also told that Brass was “vulnerable” with a report submitted on her behalf by a mental health worker.
Passing sentence, Judge Smith told her: "I bear the contents of those reports very much in mind in this case.
"But the message has to go out that people who threaten others, particularly public servants, with imitation firearms, have to expect a custodial sentence.
"In my judgement this is so serious only custody can be justified.
"I'm afraid in your case I take the view appropriate punishment can only be achieved by the imposition of an immediate custodial sentence."
Brass was said to be “angry and unpredictable and abusive” when the social workers visited her home at around 10am on April 16.
Newcastle Crown Court heard she threatened to kill herself before running to another address to obtain two items and combining them to make the imitation firearm.