AN arsonist who intimidated a witness by walking past her house making gun signs with her hands while shouting 'bang bang' has admitted threatening a witness.

Preston Crown Court also heard that Patricia Pemberton scratched homophobic slurs into Rachel Robinson's car and called her a 'vindictive b****' and a 'grass'.

Pemberton, who owns the house two doors down from Mrs Robinson's aunt, is in prison after she was sentenced to two years in July for setting fire to a flat following a grievance with her son’s landlord.

The 57-year-old of Moorfield Avenue, Huncoat, began her reign of terror on Mrs Robinson in February 2018 after she provided a statement and videos to the police of Pemberton making admissions and threats about the arson.

Keith Sutton, prosecuting, said: "On February 28 the witness was in her aunt's house when the defendant walked past. Pemberton pulled a gun shape with her right hand and began waving it about as though the gun was firing, shouting ‘bang bang’.

"In the next instance on March 24, the defendant posted a letter to the witness which contained unpleasant comments referring to personal matters to do with the witness and her aunt."

The court was told of two further incidents which included Pemberton standing in the street calling the witness a 'vindictive b****' and a 'grass', and most recently on March 30 at 2am, when she appeared at Mrs Robinson's home.

Mr Sutton said: "Mrs Robinson was at her home when she heard a cracking noise outside. She looked out and saw the defendant stood at the bonnet of her black Land Rover Discovery.

"Mrs Robinson shut the curtains, turned the lights out and called the police.

"When the police arrived she saw the scratches over both of her vehicles and a homophobic slur had been scratched into the boot of her dark blue Vauxhall Zafira and on the bonnet of the Land Rover."

A victim impact statement read out to the court spoke of the consequences Pemberton's actions have had on Mrs Robinson's life.

It read: "My aunt lives next door but one to Patricia's house and this has made things very difficult to see my aunt. I used to care for my aunt and I can't do that now.

"The things that have been written on the car can be seen by all of my work colleagues and now I am being asked questions about my sexuality.

“This is causing problems in my marriage and we are now on the verge of breaking up."

Mark Stuart, defending, said his client 'knows what she did was wrong'.

He said: "This defendant will be released from custody next year. She is a very trusted person and she has high responsibilities. She is also no longer drinking."

Jailing Pemberton for a year, Judge Simon Medland QC said: "At the time you were suffering a considerable crisis in your personal life which had led you to drink very heavily in a way which otherwise you would never have dreamt of doing."

A restraining order was put on Pemberton banning her from contacting Mrs Robinson or her aunt for six years.