A woman who was “pushed to the edge” by the trouble caused by her niece has admitted she took a large kitchen knife and went out looking for her.
Victoria Martha Rangiwhetu, a 38-year-old unemployed beneficiary, was followed by her partner who caught up with her in a Sydenham alleyway and took the knife off her.
Rangiwhetu had said she was going to find her niece and stab her, in the incident on the afternoon of April 3.
Rangiwhetu pleaded guilty to a charge of possession of an offensive weapon when she appeared before Judge Emma Smith in the Christchurch District Court today.
Defence counsel Ruth Harcourt said Rangiwhetu was being repeatedly approached at a housing complex to sort out issues relating to disruption caused by her niece.
She was remorseful about taking the knife and going after her niece. After her partner took the knife away, a friend gave Rangiwhetu a cigarette and she “calmed right down”.
Judge Smith delayed sentencing so that the Probation Service and the forensic psychiatric nurse at the Court House could assess the woman.
After receiving their report, Judge Smith imposed a term of 40 hours community work and told Rangiwhetu: “You need to be incredibly careful that you don’t react like this again when people push you to the edge.”
She noted that the case arose from the woman’s difficulties with a niece “that you love, and support and who needs you”.
“Unfortunately, you reacted in a particularly inappropriate way. Possession of that type of knife in public is clearly offensive.”
She ordered the police to destroy the knife.