Thursday, September 27, 2012
A woman has been given a hospital order and told to pay compensation after causing anxiety and stress for a Honiton family during a period of offending.
Sharon Kelleher, 50, of The Cedars, Wonford Hospital, Exeter, appeared for sentencing after pleading guilty at a previous hearing to a dwelling burglary with intent to cause damage at Jerrard Close, assault by beating and possession of offensive weapons, namely a hammer and screwdriver, in a public place.
She appeared at Central Devon Magistrates’ Court last Friday.
Kelleher also admitted a public order offence of causing harassment, alarm or distress.
The offences occurred between April 15 and May 1 and the victims were Mark Polkey and his family.
Defending, Mackenzie Robinson said: “She (the defendant) is well aware of the distress caused.”
The court heard she had been in treatment for a number of months and was making good progress.
Shaun Tipton, prosecuting, said the impact on the family involved had been “significantly substantial”.
The chairman of the bench, Jonathan Jenkins, said: “We need to start by saying that we have read the psychiatric reports and fully understand your actions were due to your mental ill health.
“So, for the first three offences of burglary of a dwelling, assault by beating and possession of offensive weapons, we are going to make a hospital order.
“This is so you can get the treatment you need. How long you stay in hospital depends on how well you respond to treatment.”
No separate penalty was given for the public order offence.
A restraining order was put in place, prohibiting the defendant from making any contact with named members of the Polkey family, or Mr Polkey’s employer, as well as prohibiting any posting of messages on social media sites regarding the family.
She is also prohibited from going within 50 metres of Jerrard Close unless accompanied by a police officer or member of the community mental health team.
Mr Jenkins added: “We are going to award compensation not only because of the damage to the televisions but the stress and anxiety caused to the Polkey family.”
The court ordered the forfeiture and destruction of the hammer and screwdriver and compensation of £250 was awarded.