A mum who threatened two social workers with an imitation firearm has been jailed.
Melain Brass became angry and abusive when the pair turned up at her home to help her son.
A court heard she threatened to kill herself before going into another house and arming herself with two items, which in combination made up an imitation gun.
She ran towards one of the social workers with the items in her hand, leaving her “entirely terrified.”
Now Brass, 43, who admitted possessing an imitation firearm, has been jailed for 15 months.
Sentencing her, Recorder Chris Smith said: “You answered the door that morning and were angry and unpredictable and abusive.
“You were pacing around and you went in to the street and threatened to kill yourself.
“You ran to another address and you armed yourself with two items, which when combined amount to an imitation firearm.”
The judge said imitation firearms can take many different forms, adding: “It was, in my judgement, a realistic imitation firearm.
“One of the social workers says you ran towards her with those items and she was, understandably, entirely terrified.”
The judge said that while one of the social workers, who knew Brass well, was not frightened, the other was.
Recorder Smith said: “There was a significant and, even now, lasting effect of what you did that day.
“The reality is you intended to cause fear of violence and you did cause real fear of violence.”
The woman who was left terrified had weeks off work as a result of the incident, has suffered nightmares and has needed counselling, the court heard.
The judge told Brass: “She has had to change her job as a direct result of what you did.”
The court heard Brass was classed as vulnerable and the judge said he had read a report by her mental health worker.
He told her: “I bear the contents of those reports very much in mind in this case.
“But the message has to go out that people who threaten others, particularly public servants, with imitation firearms, have to expect a custodial sentence.
“In my judgement this is so serious only custody can be justified. I’m afraid in your case I take the view appropriate punishment can only be achieved by the imposition of an immediate custodial sentence.”