‘You need to wake up’: Knife-wielding Greater Manchester alcoholic told to clean up her act – or face prison

By John McDougall

A knife-wielding recovering alcoholic who threatened police officers has been spared a prison sentence and told to clean up her act – or face time behind bars.

Karen Leslie, 47, was today handed a 12-month community order with supervision requirements and an activity direction order to run concurrently for affray and carrying an offensive weapon.

In two incidents days apart, a drunk Leslie threatened police officers with a kitchen knife in Stockport – who used CS spray to incapacitate her – and also outside a Co-op to terrified passers-by.

Having committed the second offence while on bail for the first, His Honour Judge Jeffrey Lewis at Minshull Street Crown Court decreed Leslie must clean up her act.

“You may be an alcoholic but you are in control of your own destiny,” he said. “You need to wake up and realise how serious these issues are.

“If you have a knife in public when you are drunk, anything can happen – death can ensue.

“She needs to understand how serious those issues are. She does need to realise how serious it is to be released on bail and commit the same offence within days.

“I have sympathy for people who are in the grip of alcohol. But it does not help a potential victim who maybe on the end of a knife.”

Ms Leslie has previous convictions including being drunk and disorderly and common assault, with these cases sent from Stockport Magistrates Court.

But she has been recently been attending alcohol support groups in Stockport and has a detoxification course booked at Prestwich Clinic.

Her defence argued that though serious, there was no malice involved due to her drinking and is determined to beat her problems.

“I hope that the words I have just spoken will stay in your mind as you try and conquer your demons in the coming months,” Judge Lewis added.

“I promise you if there is any more of this, you will go to prison. We can’t have the public in danger of drunk people on the streets carrying knives.”      

Picture courtesy of johnthurm via Flickr, with thanks. 

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