Grieving woman pulled knife on cleaner at Mansfield shopping centre

A grieving woman who pulled a large carving knife on a cleaner and a security guard at the Four Seasons shopping centre in Mansfield was planning to take her own life, a court has heard.

Friday, 29th July 2022, 1:39 pm

Victoria Bartlam approached the ladies' toilets, at 5.30pm, on October 27 last year, only to be told they were closed for cleaning, said prosecutor Sharioz Ahmed.

The 28-year-old turned around and said 'you're joking,' before trying to get into the gents'.

When the cleaner told her she couldn't use those toilets, Bartlam pulled the knife on the woman and said 'really?'

The Four Seasons shopping centre.

"The cleaning lady was shocked and very scared," Ms Ahmed said. "In her statement, she said, 'I felt very threatened. The incident was very menacing and I could tell she really meant it’."

When Bartlam was arrested near Mansfield Bus Station, she struggled and kicked out, hitting one officer in the leg.

The court heard she has one relevant previous conviction from 2015 for assaulting a police officer.

Her defence counsel said it was the anniversary of Bartlam's stepsister's death and she had visited Sherwood Forest where she started drinking.

"She went to the toilets with the sole purpose of ending her own life. She didn't wish to cause (the cleaner or security guard) any harm or fear. She is very remorseful."

The court heard that Bartlam has an extensive history of mental health issues and alcohol misuse and is 'clearly a very vulnerable young woman'.

"Close relatives have died every year for the past decade," her solicitor said. Barlam is now attending AA and getting therapy.

"It's unfortunate that this scenario had to come about for her to get help," her solicitor added. She was suspended from her job as a care worker, but is now hoping to find another job.

Bartlam, of Weardale Road, Nottingham, admitted possession of a blade and assaulting an emergency worker when she appeared at Mansfield Magistrates’ Court on July 5.

On Thursday she received a 17-week jail term, suspended for 12 months, with 16 rehabilitation days and an alcohol treatment programme.

She was ordered to pay £50 compensation to the police officer.

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Reports from the courts: defendants from the Mansfield area