Knife-point threat lands ‘violent young woman’ in prison

Lauren Barker thretened a weston shopkeeper with a knife. Picture: Avon and Somerset Constabulary

Lauren Barker thretened a weston shopkeeper with a knife. Picture: Avon and Somerset Constabulary - Credit: Avon and Somerset Constabulary

A ‘stroppy violent young woman‘ from Weston was sent to prison for 13 months for threatening a shop keeper with a kitchen knife.

Lauren Barker admitted threatening Sivasumbraniam Nagaratnam with a knife.

She also pleaded guilty to assaulting a police officer on July 22.

Prosecuting, Chloe Griggs, said the 21-year-old and another woman wore masks when they entered the Best One shop, in Baker Street, on March 12 last year.

Mr Nagaratnam, the shop's owner, approached the two women and asked them to remove the masks.

The woman with Barker then attempted to steal two frozen pizzas from the shop.

Barker threatened to harm the owner, after he recovered the items.

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She returned to the shop brandishing a kitchen knife, pointed it at the shopkeeper and said: "I'm going to stab you."

Mr Nagaratnam picked up a stick to defend himself, and claimed Barker lunged at him, which she denied doing.

Mr Nagaratnam, in a statement read to Bristol Crown Court on August 28, said: "I believed she was going to stab me.

"I work hard and do not expect to be stabbed in my own shop.

"I was shocked a young woman would do such a thing."

In September 2017 Barker, of Oldmixon Road, was given a 22-week prison sentence suspended for two years for a racially motivated assault.

Ms Griggs said Barker had nine convictions for dishonesty, violence and disorder.

When Barker was arrested on July 22 this year, she began to hit herself in the head.

As PC Vincent Anthony attempted to stop her, Barker continued to flail her arms and legs and kicked him.

Anjam Arif, defending, said Barker was remorseful, and had a difficult past, which has had a profound affect on her.

He said: "She had turned to drugs and alcohol to cope with the stress and began to carry a knife to protect herself.

"She was doing really silly things and hanging around with the wrong types of people."

Judge William Hart, in jailing Barker, called her 'a stroppy, violent young women who feels she can do whatever she wants'.