A WOMAN has been told she has only narrowly escaped being sent to prison after what magistrates described as a "vile sequence of events" on her mother and sister amid a dispute over money.

Stacey Telling appeared at Swindon Magistrates' Court on Monday charged with assaulting her mother Dawn Telling and sister Gemma Telling at the family home on Hilmarton Terrace on January 2.

She previously pleaded guilty to the offences which occurred after she asked her mother for some money after they had been washing up in the kitchen.

Prosecuting, Michelle Hewitt told the court that 25-year-old Telling had issues controlling her anger, but only her sister - Gemma - had made a statement following the incident. Her mother - Dawn - had not supported the prosecution, despite bearing the brunt of the assault.

Ms Hewitt said: "The defendant repeatedly punched her and held her by the throat, hitting her in the head and chest. She also stuck her fingers in her mother's eyes. The sister intervened and had her hair pulled but suffered no injuries."

When mother and daughter said they were calling the police Telling grabbed a knife and threatened to harm herself. She made no threats to her family with the blade.

They also called a friend who lived nearby who was able to calm her down and she left the address before police arrived, but returned when she heard they were there.

Ms Hewitt read the magistrates part of Gemma’s statement, in which she said her sister regular outbursts, and she was scared of what she was capable of: “I do fear she wouldn’t stop until we were seriously injured or dead,” she said. “I want Stacey to get help and support and I support the police to this end.”

Defending, Tony Nowogrodzki said his client had a troubled past, but she had admitted the incident at the earliest opportunity. “Stacey didn’t want to put her mother through any of this,” he said. “She could have made a no comment interview with the police, pleaded not guilty and thrown the dice in court. But she didn’t do that.

“She believe she has a split personality and has various mental health issues. These are the issues that need to be addressed.”

But chairman of the bench Geoff Earl said a report from the probation service had not highlighted any mental health issues – only emotional issues.

Passing sentence he said: “This is a particularly – as one of my colleagues put it – vile sequence of events. Your behaviour quite clearly passed what we call the custody threshold, so for this offence we are sending you to prison for a period of eight weeks.

“However, the sentence will be suspended for 24 months. That is on the assumption that you are not convicted of any other offence in the next two years and comply with the requirements in place.

“It would have been 12 weeks if you hadn’t pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.”

She was further ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work, carry out 20 rehabilitative activity days, pay court costs of £80 and a victim surcharge of £85.

Mr Earl added: “Be quite clear about this Miss Telling, that is how close you came to going of that dock through the back door today. It was touch and go whether you went to prison today, we are giving you another opportunity.”