‘Hysterical’ woman brandished axe as she followed two men

PUBLISHED: 05:30 15 October 2020

Baxter Row, Dereham. Picture: Google Streetview

Baxter Row, Dereham. Picture: Google Streetview

Google Streetview

Shocked residents tried to keep the peace when a “hysterical” woman brandished an axe at two men who had upset her, a court heard.

Emma Fillingham, 46, was seen following the men along Baxter Row, Dereham, while carrying the weapon and shouting, swearing and screaming, Norwich Crown Court heard.

Peter Gair, prosecuting, said concerned onlookers came out of their homes and tried to calm the situation.

He said; “A number of residents went out into the street to try to keep the peace.”

He said Fillingham was holding an axe by her side and said: “At one point she raised it. She was hysterical and appeared to be lunging with the axe in her right hand.”

The court heard the men had thrown a bottle in retaliation at Fillingham, but declined to make any complaint about what happened.

Fillingham, of Howard Crescent, Dereham, admitted having a bladed article in public and threatening behaviour on June 15 this year.

She was given a four-month jail sentence, suspended for 21 months.

Judge Katharine Moore told Fillingham she had a history of substance misuse and accepted she was “vulnerable” but said having a bladed article in public was serious.

“When anyone arms themselves in this way, the most serious injury can result.”

Judge Moore said: “Members of the public left their homes to come out and try to intervene.”

She said while the prosecution accepted there had been some provocation involving her and the two men Judge Moore said: “Nothing justifies what you did. If you needed the assistance of authorities there are ways to obtain it. What you did created an obvious danger.”

She told her it was a last chance.

Gavin Cowe, for Fillingham, said: “It was a disproportionate response to an element of provocation. Her thinking was muddled by the alcohol she had consumed at the time.

“She wanted to slow down what she saw as being bullied.”

He said she kept her distance from the two men who were walking ahead and at no time did the axe get near them.

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