A VALE woman who made two Molotov cocktails as part of a plan to blow up her Alexandria flat has been given a chance to turn her life around.

Kelsey Willis was spared jail after a court was told her family was willing to give her support to deal with her problems.

Willis 29, was sentenced at Dumbarton Sheriff Court on Tuesday after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing to possessing two incendiary devices "for an unlawful object, namely to cause explosions and fires" at her then home in King Edward Street on October 12 last year.

A previous hearing, in January, was told Willis had made two bottle bombs out of beer bottles, methylated spirits and tissues at the property, and had told a neighbour: "I'll go down for 20 years."

Willis committed the offence the day after being released on bail on a separate accusation of being in possession of another weapon – this time a metal canister containing the pepper spray capsaicin – at the same property on October 10.

At last week's sentencing hearing, Willis's solicitor, Stephen McGuire, said his client had been troubled by mental health issues and paranoia for some time.

Mr McGuire told the court: "She was troubled by items going missing from her property, and there were issues from her past in relation to previous police involvement, which were troubling her and adding to the feelings of paranoia.

"But she doesn't wish anything I say to be considered an excuse for what happened.

"She considers her preparation of the items described on the indictment to be gross stupidity on her part.

"She recognises the potential for significant harm to individuals at the property if items such as the ones she prepared were used in any way.

"The existence of the items creates a potential for harm and that has to be taken into account."

Mr McGuire said Willis had spent four months in custody after her first appearance in court – the result of a previous community-based sentence, for an unrelated offence, being revoked, and prison imposed in its place.

"Her failure to engage is one aspect of things that has crossed her mind," Mr McGuire continued.

"Four months in custody is far in excess of any time she has spent in custody before. She recognises the benefit of that."

Mr McGuire told the court it was "simply not an option" for Willis to go back to the King Edward Street property, and said her parents were willing to give her help and to take her in at their home in Beaton Road, Balloch.

"The signs I'm getting now are that if your Lordship was willing to consider a community based disposal today, it's an option she is far better placed to engage with than in the past," he added.

"Her parents acknowledge that it [going to their home] is not an easy option, for Miss Willis or for them. The family are taking the view that if they don't support her, then who is going to?"

Sheriff Maxwell Hendry said he was concerned, on the basis of Willis's past engagement with support services, that she might "relapse" once back in the community.

Imposing a community payback order, the sheriff told Willis: "You committed this very serious offence on October 12, after you had been granted bail on October 11.

"I remember explaining the bail conditions to you; I remember you telling me you understood the bail conditions and that you were going to comply with them – and within 24 hours you breached them.

"I will be watching your compliance and progress on the order. If I see the order is not going well I can bring it to an end at any time, and I can send you to prison instead."

Willis will be supervised by social workers for two years; she was also told to carry out 180 hours of unpaid work by February 2021.

In addition, she was handed a 'restriction of liberty order' confining her to the Beaton Road property from 7pm to 7am every night until mid-June.