A mum-of-one who threatened two girls with a kitchen knife as they were waiting for a taxi home from the pub has narrowly avoided a prison sentence.

At a hearing in Preston Crown Court, prosecuting barrister Karen Brooks said 24-year-old Courtney Armstrong had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to possessing a white kitchen knife with a five inch blade while outside the Continental Discount Store on Blackburn Road in Accrington on Valentine's Day 2019.

Ms Brooks told the court: "On February 14 at around 2am, Nichola Thomas and Shauna Appleby were waiting for a taxi to take them to a friend's house.

"They were standing outside the Continental Discount Store when the defendant, who they said appeared drunk, approached Miss Thomas waving a knife around and making threats, asking if Miss Thomas wanted a fight.

"At one point it was claimed Armstrong had said 'I am going to stab you', while also attempting to stab herself.

"Miss Appleby then moved towards her to try and disarm Armstrong, and in grabbing the blade suffered a cut to her hand.

"The knife was thrown into the road, and the police arrived shortly afterwards."

It was heard that in her interview, Armstrong had admitted to having the blade but said she was never going to stab Miss Thomas.

Mitigating for the defence, Peter Turner said Armstrong, of Primrose Street in Accrington, did not remember most of the altercation due to an earlier incident that evening in which she'd been assaulted and knocked unconscious and experienced some loss of hearing.

Mr Turner said: "This may also of had some bearing on her behaviour.

"She was straightforward with the police saying that she had been in possession of the knife but could not remember the confrontation and pleaded guilty at the magistrates court as soon as possible."

In sentencing, Judge Simon Newell said: "You were aggressive, you were waving a knife, you wanted to fight and you threatened to stab them.

"Why you had a knife and where you got it from and why you waved it at these two individuals is inexplicable.

"It's a highly dangerous situation when someone has taken drink and it could result in someone being killed, that's why the sentences for carrying a knife are very serious.

"You have a family and a three-year-old child. Whatever the background on February 14, it seems you are old enough to understand the impact of a custodial sentence."

Armstrong who has one previous conviction for one offence in 2015, was handed an eight month prison sentence suspended for 18 months and ordered to carry out 30 days rehabilitation activity.