A PONTYPOOL woman who has repeatedly broken restraining orders has been ordered to receive mental health support by a judge.

Joanna Atkinson, 39, of Clarence Street, broke a restraining order placed on her by the court on behalf of a neighbour just days beforehand.

On January 13, Atkinson’s neighbour Jake Lennord was woken up at 8.15am by a loud banging noise.

He recognised it as kicking and banging on the door, and could hear the defendant shouting ‘Get out here now’, Thomas Stanway, prosecuting, told Newport Crown Court.

After around 15 minutes, Mr Lennord called the police non-emergency number 101.

Around 15 minutes later, Mr Stanway said, the defendant returned to her own flat, but could be heard shouting.

“It was repetitive behaviour and has caused [Mr Lennord] distress and has become a nuisance,” said Mr Stanway.

Later, the shouting began outside again, this time outside a neighbour’s flat, with the defendant calling out for “Lee” and “Santiago”.

Just after 10am, Mr Lennord went to the door and looked through the peep hole.

“The defendant was pacing around saying things like ‘You’ll be sorry’ and ‘You’re going to get done for murder and go to prison’,” Mr Stanway said.

The police arrived just after midday, and the defendant was arrested and interviewed the next day.

There she said she did not drink alcohol, and had not taken any drugs “for two weeks”.

Atkinson has 16 previous convictions for 29 offences. These included similar offences against Mr Lennord – who had been granted a restraining order against the defendant on January 5 – as well as calling the emergency services saying there were people inside his flat who were in danger when there were not.

Hillary Roberts, in mitigation, said the defendant was on prescribed medication to improve her mental health.

“It is clear this is a woman who has considerable difficulties in terms of her mental state and her ability to hear," she said.

“The author of the pre-sentence report says ‘I fear Ms Atkinson has slipped through the net’.

“At the moment she is in a good place but that is because she’s been under the regime that has compelled her to take the medicine.

“It’s something the probation service and Talygarn [mental health unit] can work towards. The repetitive troublesome behaviour of the past can be eliminated.”

“This is not the first time you have breached a restraining order,” said Judge Richard Williams, addressing Atkinson.

“It is safe to conclude that your mental health has had a significant impact on your reoffending.”

Judge Williams sentenced Atkinson for 84 days in prison for acting in breach of a restraining order.

He also activated the two suspended sentences she was handed on January 5, both 28-day sentences running consecutively.

The prosecution offered no evidence relating to two counts of acting in breach of a criminal behaviour order and a further count of acting in breach of a restraining order. Atkinson was found not guilty for those charges.

In total, Atkinson was sentenced to 140 days imprisonment, where she would be released on licence after 70 days. As she has already been in custody for that period, she has been released from prison.

Judge Williams told Atkinson she must now work with the probation service and the Talygarn mental health unit at County Hospital.

Atkinson remains the subject of a criminal behaviour order and a restraining order. She must also pay a statutory surcharge.