Patient made threats to kill

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An inpatient at a South Yorkshire community mental health unit threatened to kill two members of staff, a court heard.

Former drug addict Margaret Ridgeway, aged 35, became upset while talking to a community psychiatric nurse, Sheffield Crown Court was told.

She yelled: “It’s your fault I had my child taken off me,” a reference to her child being removed by social services two years previously.

Ridgeway continued her tirade at Swallownest Court on Aughton Road, Rotherham, threatening: “I’m going to get a knife and stab you.”

The nurse was frightened and called for manager Shirley Wilson who tried to calm things down between the two women.

Alison Dorrell, prosecuting, said Ridgeway then turned to Mrs Wilson and said: “I will kill you when I see you in the street.”

The police were called and Ridgeway was arrested.

She admitted two offences of making threats to kill on February 9.

Kathryn Stuckey, defending, said Ridgeway had a long-standing history of drug misuse and had been taking amphetamines since her teens.

It was open to question whether she had mental health problems or if they were drug-induced.

Judge Sarah Wright said Ridgeway, who arrived at court with an overnight bag expecting to be jailed, ‘richly deserved’ to go to prison but decided to give her a chance.

“It must have been absolutely terrifying for those two ladies,” said the judge as she gave Ridgeway a 12-month community order with supervision.