A 21-YEAR-OLD woman from Swindon was given a conditional discharge after screaming abuse at a woman who allegedly insulted her.

Kayleigh Nicholls, of Eastcott Hill, pleaded guilty to the charge when she appeared in Swindon Magistrates' Court on Tuesday.

Prosecutor Keith Ballinger said: “The defendant had gone out of her flat, went downstairs and started banging on the window of the complainant’s flat because she had called her an ‘attention-seeking b*tch’.

“She was described as being angry, shouting and swearing, saying ‘I’m going to stab you’, though the defendant denies this.

“The complainant locked the doors and called the police, she was shaking and crying when they arrived.

“In interview, the defendant said she had not threatened to stab her because if she had threatened such a thing, she would have carried it out.

“She accepts swearing at her, asking her to come outside, and being aggressive.”

Nicholls has previous convictions for public order offences and struggles with mental health disorders.

Emma Thacker, defending, explained why the insult had provoked such an extreme reaction from her client.

She said: “She was informed that a comment had been made about her by a support worker and took this to heart.

“She struggles with self-harm and ‘attention-seeking’ are trigger words which lead to her feeling an awful sense of hopelessness and becoming very angry.

“She has been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, anti-social personality disorder, and PTSD.

“In the past, she has been outwardly aggressive with her anger but now it seems she’s going inwards and taking this anger out on herself, her arms show many signs of self-harm.

“She was given a nine-month community order for a previous offence and at first, she struggled with compliance but things have dramatically changed, she’s attended all her appointments and is making good progress.”

A probation worker said: “I’ve been working with her for more than three years, starting at a point where she was at the highest level of risk and she is now classed as medium risk.

“She’s made such massive progress that she was able to go into employment for a time.

“This incident is a really disappointing bit of behaviour but she poses the most risk to herself rather than staff and her response was a lot less severe than what we have seen in the past in the context of previous responses.”

Miss Thacker added: “The only support network she has is the probation team, her parents tend to be disruptive and she split up with her boyfriend, it’s a sad story.

“She’s very angry with herself and feels she has let herself down, she’s trying to help herself now.”

Amanda Lee, chairman of the bench, said: “The bench has to congratulate you for making progress but, although you are remorseful, you can’t do these things.

“There will be a £50 fine but I will make it as time served, with no costs and no charge for victims’ services. Please continue to work with probation, it’s going well.”