A DUMBARTON woman has been jailed for having a potentially lethal kitchen knife in her bag after she was found lying drunk in the town’s High Street.

Paula Spiers was picked up and taken home for her safety after a member of the public contacted police on the afternoon of May 10.

But nobody was there when officers got to her home in Graham Road, so she was then taken to the police station, and thereafter to hospital – and it was there that a search found the blade in her bag.

The black-handled knife, with a serrated blade, was produced at Dumbarton Sheriff Court on Friday, when 51-year-old Spiers appeared for sentencing on charges of possessing a bladed item in the High Street, and of behaving in a threatening or abusive manner during a journey between Clydebank police office and the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley.

Gemma McKechnie, prosecuting, said police had been called to the High Street at around 1pm in response to reports of Spiers “being intoxicated and lying on the ground”.

At the hospital she was arrested for possession of the knife in a public place, and then became abusive towards police, directing a stream of foul-mouthed insults at them before saying: “I’ll f*****g murder you” and “I’ll give you a Glasgow kiss”.

Spiers also told police: “I had a knife because I’m scared.”

Defence lawyer Alan Murdoch said: “Without minimising this very serious incident, she had moved house the day before, and also in her bag was a knife, fork and spoon and other items of cutlery.

“She seems to be acknowledging the fact that she’s in need of help.

“If she is allowed her liberty she is going to work with every agency to try and stop this offending and get better.”

But Sheriff John Hamilton pointed out that Spiers had been convicted of carrying a knife in January 2018, when she was given a community payback order and a 10-month curfew – and noted that she also had previous convictions for assault, resisting arrest, theft by shoplifting and breach of the peace.

Sheriff Hamilton told Spiers: “The difficulty the courts face is that you have previously carried a knife and were given a disposal to address your problem – and within 18 months of that conviction, and with other offences in the interim, you’re carrying a knife in public again, and threatening violence, whilst on four bail orders.

“In the circumstances I can do nothing but impose a custodial sentence.”

Spiers was jailed for a total of six months, backdated to May 13, when she was first remanded in custody.