Woman who killed teen back behind bars after being caught carrying knife

A woman who killed a teenager is back behind bars after she was caught carrying a knife while on a suspended prison term for attacking police.

Claire Fowles, 42, has previously served an eight-and-a-half year jail sentence for the manslaughter of a 14-year-old girl. The teen victim died from multilple organ failure after taking drugs supplied to her by Fowles in Lowestoft, Suffolk, in 2003.

Newcastle Crown Court heard Fowles moved to the North East of England after her release from prison and stayed out of trouble for over 17 years. But in April last year Fowles was given a suspended jail sentence for attacking two police officers in South Shields. During the violence she bit one constable and pushed and hit another but remembered little of what she did because she was intoxicated.

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The court heard in August this year, while on the suspended sentence, police received reports of a woman carrying a knife in Sunderland. Officers arrived at the city centre and saw Fowles, who confessed she had a knife in her pocket, which she handed over as instructed.

Claire Fowles.

Prosecutor Alec Burns told the court: "She later said she had it for her own protection as she was living on the streets."

The court heard Fowles was bailed but failed to attend court as required in October so was arrested and taken to Southwick police station in Sunderland.

Mr Burns said Fowles lashed out at a custody officer who had attempted to search her. He told the court: "She kicked out five times and struck the officer on the left leg, on the thigh, knee and shin, causing temporary soreness."

Fowles, of Quayside House, Sunderland, admitted having a bladed article, which put her in breach of the suspended sentence, and assault on an emergency worker.

Mark Styles, defending, said Fowles became homeless due to a rent price increase at the flat she was living and was living on the streets.

Mr Styles added: "There had been a significant break in her offending behaviour, a break of 17 years."

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Mr Styles said Fowles moved north as she has family and friend connections in the area and had been "doing quite well but added: "She has a longstanding problem with alcohol. What she needs is to keep off the drink and a roof over her head."

Mr Recorder David Kelly sentenced Fowles to a total of 54 weeks behind bars.

The judge said he accepted Fowles was carrying the knife for her own safety while living on the streets and told her: "It doesn't excuse it but I understand, a middle aged, homeless woman with an alcohol problem."

The judge said the attack on the custody officer happened when she was "just trying to do her duty and she doesn't go to work to put up with that sort ofthing".