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Mentally-ill woman guilty of harassment
4:00pm Thursday 19th July 2012 in News
A mentally-ill woman has been given a prison sentence by magistrates after admitting harassment.
Catherine Lund, 39, repeatedly swore at and appeared outside the home of a family in Keighley Road, Bradley, Skipton court heard last Wednesday.
Magistrates also gave Lund a restraining order banning her from contacting any member of the family or stopping on a footpath within 100 yards of their house.
Between April 18 and May 4, Lund, of Station Road, Cononley, pursued a course of conduct amounting to the harassment of Jane Shaw and her family, the court was told.
It included her swearing at Mrs Shaw in front of a child and appearing at the window of their home.
Her behaviour was in breach of a six-month conditional discharge given by magistrates in April after admitting a public order offence including shouting at cars being driven along Keighley Road and being abusive to a police officer.
Lund, who appeared at court in custody, having already served 45 days in prison, suffers from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, the court heard.
She had originally denied harassment against the Shaw family, but changed her plea to guilty ahead of Wednesday’s planned trial.
In mitigation, Victoria Molloy said Lund’s mental health problems meant she had a limited understanding of the effect of her behaviour on the family.
She said she was under the care of Skipton General Hospital, the Craven Centre for mental health and also had the support of family, who lived nearby.
Ms Molloy argued against a restraining order, requested by the prosecution service, because she believed it would be setting Lund up to fail.
She also feared it would mean members of the public frequently reporting her for alleged breaches.
Magistrates imposed a restraining order which they said was to protect the Shaw family from more harassment.
They also sentenced Lund to eight weeks in prison, but because she had been in custody since May 22, she was released.
For being in breach of the conditional discharge given in April, she was re-sentenced and fined £50 with a £15 victims surcharge.