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Sunday, 20 April 2014

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Judge spares Carlisle teen jail in hope of halting downward spiral

A young woman has been sent home to live with her mother in the hope that it will save her from a lifetime of longer and longer jail sentences.

Chelsea Watterson, 19, was sent to a young offenders’ institution for eight months last June after being caught with a knife on the streets of Carlisle – an offence she committed just days after being released from an earlier custodial sentence for doing the same sort of thing.

Carlisle Crown Court heard that she had taken the knife onto the street because she wanted to scare someone she was angry with.

A member of the public raised the alarm after seeing with the knife as she walked along Newtown Road. When police searched her, they found the knife tucked into the waist band of her jogging bottoms.

Watterson was back at the court on Thursday for failing to abide by the conditions imposed on her – including keeping in regular touch with her probation officers – after her release from prison.

Because of the time she had spent in custody following her latest arrested, Judge Paul Batty QC, the city’s Honorary Recorder, decided not to impose a further prison sentence, but instead released her into the care of her mother, who lives in Bedford Road.

He told here: “You have got a troubling history for one so young.

“The constant carrying of knives that you have done in the past will always result in custodial sentences.

“I earnestly urge you; please to go back to your mother’s house and try to turn your life around, because with your record if you commit any further offences it will be longer and longer sentences. That is no life for anyone.”

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