A WOMAN whose next-door neighbour refused to give her a cigarette returned to his address a short time later and attacked the front door with a hammer.

Sharon McAllister, 36, was heard yelling in the street about Jesus and God shortly before she carried out the attack at Raven Nook, Carlisle, the city’s Rickergate Magistrates Court was told.

She admitted an offence of criminal damage.

John Moran, prosecuting, outlined how on September 12 McAllister knocked on her next door neighbour’s front door and asked the man living there whether he would give her a cigarette but he refused.

“The defendant seemed a bit confused,” said Mr Moran.

“It appeared she’d been drinking alcohol. She left the house but could be heard screaming away in the distance about Jesus and God. She then went back to the door and started hitting it.

“She hit a glass pane in the door with a hammer; and it’s believed she hit the door with a hammer about five times.”

Mr Moran said the victim was concerned about how quickly the encounter escalated, though at present it was an isolated incident.

At present, I won’t ask for a restraining order but if this type of behaviour continues that type of order might be requested.”

Mr Moran added that the defendant’s record was mainly for offences against the person and she was currently on post sentence supervision following an earlier custodial sentence.

Chris Toms, for McAllister, said she suffered from significant mental health problems. She had constantly been in and out of various hospitals, according to a recent lengthy psychiatric report.

Mr Toms said: “Her recollection of what happened is vague. I don’t believe she and the neighbour had ever met one another. It was nothing personal and it wasn’t targeted. He was just of the human beings she was in contact with. She was, in her words, having an episode.”

A Probation Service worker in court said McAllister’s compliance with orders very much depended on her mental health, but she could be “challenging.” Magistrates imposed an £80 fine, and told McAllister, now of Eldon Drive, Harraby, to pay the victim £200 compensation to pay for repairing the damaged front door.