Guilty plea from woman who 'waved knife' at primary school pupils in Holywood

Guilty plea from woman who 'waved knife' at primary school pupils in Holywood

A WOMAN who was "waving a knife" as pupils were leaving a primary school in County Down has pleaded guilty to the charges she faces.

45-year-old Ausra Baksaite, of Church View in Holywood, admitted offences in relation to an incident outside St Patrick's Primary School in Holywood (main picture) at 3pm on Tuesday April 12 this year.

She appeared at Newtownards Magistrates' Court on Wednesday and pleaded guilty to possessing a knife 'without good reason or lawful authority' in the vicinity of Church View in Holywood.

She also admitted 'assaults' involving three people, which a defence barrister said were "non-contact".

A defence lawyer said the defendant had a "clear and significant underlying condition" for which she is "intending to seek assistance".

The case was adjourned to June for a pre-sentence report.

The court heard bail conditions were in place including the defendant being barred from leaving her home when school children were getting out in the afternoons and the defence lawyer said that was "being complied with".

During a previous bail application a PSNI officer told the court police were tasked to a report of a female "outside her home address" who was "waving a knife" which was "approximately eight inches long".

The officer said St Patrick's Primary School in Holywood was "finishing" at the time.

She added: "The female was wearing pyjamas and a dressing gown and was shouting for cars to stop banging doors outside her property.

"The knife was being waved in front of children as young as five".

The officer said three parents asked the defendant to "put the knife away" but the defendant said she "didn't care".

When interviewed by police, the earlier court heard, the defendant "admitted being at her front door and having the knife in her hand".

The defendant accepted to police there were children nearby.

The officer said Baksaite told police "she was having trouble with school parents parking outside her house while picking up and dropping off children".

The court heard the defendant said letters had been written to the school and parents "however they still continued to do it".

The officer said Baksaite said in the interview she "just went mad" and had wanted to cause a "scare".

A defence barrister told the earlier court the defendant is originally from Lithuania.

He said there was no question it was a "severe, serious, case" but she had no criminal record.

He added: "Her motivation, albeit skewed, is quite clear. She had plenty of opportunity to assault somebody if she wished to and she did not".

District Judge Mark Hamill had told the original bail hearing: "The whole thing is extremely disturbing".

However, he said it was difficult to object to bail when somebody had a clear record.

He had granted bail in the sum of £500 to the defendant.

The judge had said he had given some "serious thought" to making the defendant move from Holywood but put in place a bail condition barring her from coming out of her home near the school between 2.55pm and 3.45pm in the afternoons when children were getting out.

He had added that may well have to be extended to the morning time.

Judge Hamill earlier told the defendant: "There will be no more interference with the school and the parents and children going to and from school. If she interferes with the school in any way, shape, or form, again bail will end, clear record or no clear record.

"I want her to be extremely well warned that she is not to repeat anything like this".