A teenager kept another young woman captive in a flat with a knife after claiming she drank her birthday vokda.
Hungover Clarity Kennedy had ‘kicked off’ in the morning after celebrating her birthday at the flat, blaming victim Laura Creedon for knocking back the expensive vodka she had bought.
But Kennedy (18), of Whitnash, escaped being jailed after pleading guilty at Warwick Crown Court to false imprisonment and assault.
She was sentenced to 14 months detention suspended for two years, and was ordered to do 60 hours of unpaid work and to take part in a rehabilitation activity.
Prosecutor Amrisha Parathalingam said that on December 3 last year Kennedy held a party at a friend’s flat in Stratford, to celebrate her 18th birthday.
After the party, Kennedy, her friend and Miss Creedon remained at the flat, with Miss Creedon sleeping on the sofa.
“But in the morning the defendant began kicking off about some expensive vodka she had brought to the party.”
Kennedy accused Miss Creedon of drinking some of the vodka, and said she had to pay for it, demanding £80 from her and preventing her from leaving the flat.
Miss Creedon phoned a friend who could hear Kennedy telling her to put the phone down before taking it from her.
Telling her she was lucky she had not killed her, Kennedy warned Miss Creedon not to call the police or she would stab her.
Kennedy got an eight-inch kitchen knife and began waving it around, threatening Miss Creedon that she would put her in handcuffs and stab her if she tried to call the police.
And she told her: “I’m keeping you hostage until you give me the money. If you try to leave, I’ll cut you up. If you don’t give me the money, I’ll smash this bottle over your head.”
Kennedy then hit her several times over the head with a bottle, which fortunately did not break, but left Miss Creedon with bumps to her head.
Kennedy’s friend then intervened and took her into a bedroom before pushing Miss Creedon out of the flat, ending her ordeal which Miss Parathalingam said had lasted 1-2 hours – and she made her way to the railway station.
The police were called, but when Kennedy was arrested at the flat she declined to make a statement and gave ‘no comment’ replies when she was interviewed.
The court heard that Kennedy had a conviction in November last year for damage and assaulting an emergency worker, and in May this year for attempted robbery and affray.
Nick Devine, defending, said: “The author of the pre-sentence report says that at the time Miss Kennedy was naive and immature, and not able to manage her emotions appropriately.
“This particular very nasty incident began between three hungover individuals arguing over the consumption of a bottle of vodka Miss Kennedy had bought for her birthday.
“She believed the victim was responsible for drinking it, and things got out of hand. She says she lacked any knowledge that her action would be classed as false imprisonment. She deeply regrets her behaviour.”
Mr Devine argued that there was ‘a realistic prospect of rehabilitation’ for Kennedy, who over the last 11 months had addressed her alcohol and drug issues.
Judge Peter Cooke told Kennedy: “There’s no guideline for false imprisonment, but it is not just what is done to them, it’s that their freedom to get away from it is curtailed.
“What you did to your friend, which she was before the two of you woke up hung over that morning, was appalling.
“If a proper adult had done that, then after a trial they wouldn’t be getting any change out of two years in prison.
“But you were barely an adult. This was the day after your 18th birthday, so I think we ought to be in the realms of two-thirds of what an adult would receive.
“So we are looking at a sentence of about 14 months to reflect the wickedness of what you did.
“But you are less of a risk than you were a year ago. I think you have demonstrated that you have a determination to break the bad cycles you were in.”