An alcoholic mother who stabbed her house mate in the leg with a kitchen knife has been given another chance to turn her life around after she begged a judge not to send her back to prison.
Emma Timms, 42, ran at a man who was living in the same supported accommodation in Farnborough on July 8 last year, shouting ‘I’m going to kill him’ before causing him minor injuries.
She appeared at Guildford Crown Court on July 3 to be sentenced, after it was postponed in February to allow her a chance to prove to Judge Peter Moss that she was making steps to overcome her alcohol abuse.
However, the judge heard that Timms had failed to attend rehabilitation appointments since then and had been admitted to hospital only the night before in connection with her drinking, putting her attendance in court in doubt.
Defence counsel Andrew Turton said Timms, of Queen Elizabeth Drive, in Aldershot , was "not a well woman" and that she had not committed any further offences since the attack a year ago and had expressed remorse.
Timms had already spent just over 10 weeks in HMP Bronzefield, in Ashford, Middlesex, in the lead up to her February hearing – the first time she had been to prison – and she was said to be "terrified" of returning.
“She found the experience of being remanded in HMP Bronzefield a frightening one,” said Mr Turton. “It may well be a view that, in the light of that, she has already served a sentence.”
He added: “The men in the previous accommodation were throwing water at her and abusing her.”
Timms had been mixing alcohol with prescribed medication and said she "blacked out" and remembered nothing of the attack, although she called out from the dock that the injury she caused was "only a scratch".
Mr Turton argued that she was "doomed not to comply" with the previous order due to her alcohol addiction, but was doing her best.
Judge Moss was dismayed that the chance he had given to Timms by deferring her sentencing for the "frightening" incident had not been taken advantage of, but was willing to give her one more chance.
Suspending a seven-month prison sentence for 18 months, he told Timms: “I am, on balance, persuaded that that’s the right thing to do. But make no mistake about it, if you commit any further offences within the 18 months you may have the sentence activated."
No order was made for costs.
As she left the court, Timms called out to thank the judge, saying she would get rid of her problems as she had been told she would die otherwise and because she did not want to lose her son.