Drunken woman threw concrete block at neighbour’s door

Burnley Magistrates Court
Burnley Magistrates Court
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A drunken woman who terrorised a neighbour by lobbing a large block of concrete at her door in an ongoing dispute was caught on camera by the victim, a court heard.

Burnley Magistrates’ Court was told Lisa McNamara was at home in Nelson, watching television at 5pm, when she heard shouting from outside.

She looked out of the open window and saw Jemma Louise Samuels approaching with a large object in her hands. Samuels raised the missile above her head and threw it at the door, causing a loud bang. She then ran away.

Police arrived, saw the damage and found the concrete. An officer viewed the footage of the frightening incident and Samuels (24) was arrested.

The court heard the defendant, who is on employment support allowance, claimed she drank every day out of boredom. When she was interviewed, she said she couldn’t recall the offence and had been drunk most days in the last four weeks.

The day after, the hearing was told, Nelson residents had complained to the police that Samuels was in the middle of the road in the town centre, surrounded by her personal belongings.

Prosecutor Mrs Tracy Yates said: “An officer escorted her to the side of the road. She was unsteady on her feet. Officers made numerous attempts to speak to her. She swore at them on a number of occasions.”

The defendant has 13 previous offences on her record, including three for being drunk and disorderly and a damage conviction.

Samuels, of Mansfield Crescent, Brierfield, admitted causing £50 damage to a UPVC door on August 21st, being drunk and disorderly on Hibson Road, Nelson, on August 22nd and failing to surrender.

She was given a 12-month community order, with a 20-day rehabilitation activity requirement and was ordered to pay a £50 fine, £60 compensation, £85 costs and an £85 victim surcharge.

Samuels was also made the subject of a restraining order, banning her from contacting Lisa McNamara and from going within 50 metres of her home on Belgrave Street.

District Judge James Clarke said there were “clearly some concerning behaviour” with regard to the defendant’s drinking.

He told her: “To throw a large block of concrete at somebody’s house when they are inside is a frightening incident. It goes beyond a simple act of vandalism or damage.”

A probation officer who interviewed Samuels said she had a very limited recollection of both the offences due to the fact she was under the influence of alcohol.

The officer said: “Unfortunately, she has been drinking on a daily basis, mainly due to boredom. This has been exacerbated by an argument within the family in June. Since then she has lost family support and is currently sofa surfing.

“She has been diagnosed with severe depression and psychosis and needs to make some connection with the community mental health team. She is not in receipt of medication at present.”