Two young boys were so terrified they hid under a kitchen table when a woman armed with a knife burst into their Dalton home.
A court heard the four and seven-year-olds had been left with their 15-year-old aunt while their parents were out at the supermarket and she answered the door to Siobhan McManus.
Kate Batty prosecuting told Leeds Crown Court the family already had a harassment order against McManus because of her previous conduct.
The babysitter could tell immediately that McManus was in drink and she was complaining about someone smashing up her grandfather’s grave and because the teenager was scared by her she tried to shut the door against her.
Mrs Batty said McManus forced the door open which had the effect of pushing the girl back into the bannister in the hallway and out of fear she ran upstairs with McManus calling her a “pussy” for doing so.
The children were in the kitchen and had heard the disturbance. They hid under the kitchen table but she went in and began shouting at them.
One boy was so scared he wet himself. He said he was crying and could see McManus was holding what appeared to be a large bread knife in her hand.
She pointed it at them and told the boys to go into the living room which they did.
She then went upstairs towards the babysitter. One of the boys had followed and saw her drop the knife and when he went to pick it up McManus slapped him causing him to drop it and she picked it up again.
She then left the house but shouted she would wait outside until their mother got back.
Mrs Batty said the babysitter took the opportunity to get the two boys upstairs and locked the three of them in a bedroom. She could see from the window that McManus was in the area outside and also noticed her aunt drive up but then drive off again.
The children’s mother said later when she spotted McManus with a knife outside she knew she should get out of the way and alert police. Another witness described McManus kicking at a garden gate and stabbing at the wood with the knife.
Mrs Batty said the boys were too scared to return to their home and the family were moving from the area as a result.
Georgina Goring representing McManus said she had been drinking that day and her memory in relation to the events “isn’t particularly clear.”
She had been the victim of a traumatic assault some years ago and had turned to alcohol as a coping mechanism. She had now sought help for that and having spent the months since the incident on August 14 on remand in prison she asked for any sentence to be suspended with suitable probation activities.
McManus, 40 of Kirkstone Avenue, Dalton, admitted affray. Jailing her for 18 months Recorder Nigel Sangster QC said it was a serious offence in which she had terrified three young people aged only four, seven and 15.
He said they had been so concerned by their ordeal that the family now felt that they had to leave the area. “I accept you were in drink but that is no excuse.”