Mother-of-three is spared prison

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A MOTHER-OF-THREE with 41 previous convictions walked free from a court when she appeared for sentencing for chasing and throwing a knife at her boyfriend.

However, Diane Dockerty, 29, was warned by a judge at York Crown Court that if she offended again she would be facing a lengthy prison term.

The Recorder of York, Judge Stephen Ashurst, heard that if Dockerty was jailed her three children, including a six-month-old child with medical problems, would suffer.

The judge told Dockerty, of High Garth, Eastfield, that he was in no doubt that her children had been used as mitigation on the numerous occasions she had been given chances by the courts, but added that she should not expect to hide behind them again if she did re-offend.

Dockerty, who had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to a charge of possessing a bladed article and using threatening behaviour in the early hours of October 3 last year, was placed under a six month deferred sentence.

Geraldine Kelly, prosecuting, told how after attending a wedding, Dockerty and her boyfriend began arguing in her home, resulting in him climbing out of a ground floor window and trying to get away.

Dockerty followed him, picking up a knife which, said Miss Kelly, was kept by her to operate a sneck on her door in order to get back in the home.

A local resident heard the couple arguing in nearby Westway, saw the knife being wielded and telephoned the police.

Dockerty threw the knife at the man, later telling the police on her arrest at home that he had been “goading” her.

The court heard that Dockerty has served several custodial sentences in the past, having a record which includes offences of wounding, assault, public disorder, possession of drugs and dishonesty.

The latest offences were also committed towards the end of a suspended prison sentence.

Trisha Doherty, mitigating, said that her client realised the seriousness of the offences and that custody would be at the forefront of the courts thinking.

Adding that her client had trouble with her temper when she had been drinking alcohol, Mrs Doherty said that Dockerty had been receiving help for her problems and had been responding well.

Passing sentence, the judge told Dockerty that she had received more chances than many defendants, perhaps more than a male defendant of the same age.

Adding that he was deferring sentence, partly because of the children and partly because of her response to the help being offered, the judge told Dockerty that if she stayed out of trouble for six months he would consider a suspended prison sentence, or a community order with a significant number of unpaid work hours.