A WOMAN with more than 100 crimes on her record dodged jail for a drunken knife incident - with a stern warning from a judge.

Gillian Tero - who has been in court every year for more than a decade - was told: "If you come back here again, you'll go to prison."

Tero threatened workers on a lunch-break after they laughed at her when she fell over in the street hear Stockton town centre.

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Teesside Crown Court heard the 40-year-old took a craft knife from her trouser pocket and yelled: "I'll stab you all with this."

After tumbling over as she took off her flip-flops and the crowd giggled, she shouted at one: "What are you laughing at, you ginger ****?"

Harry Hadfield, prosecuting, said Tero waved the knife and pointed it towards a 23-year-old worker before police were called to the scene.

The employee said in an impact statement that he was "extremely scared" and was not sure whether the armed woman would use the weapon.

The court heard that Tero has 117 offences on her record, mostly for theft, but also including drugs and two convictions for assault.

Umza Khan, mitigating, said Tero had recently made important changes to her life and was prepared to engage with probation workers.

"She stands before the court with a very unenviable record," Miss Khan told Judge George Moorhouse yesterday.

"She has committed a large number of offences, all very much drug-related. In trying to come off drugs, she has replaced one habit with another.

"The effects of alcohol are far more serious upon her health than the drugs ever were. She has been diagnosed with cirrhosis of the liver.

"She has, in the last few months, nearing in mind her medical problems, made real efforts to try to change her behaviour.

"It seems Miss Tero, since this offence, has managed to keep herself out of trouble for three months, and that's a big deal for someone like her."

Tero, of Parkfield Way, Stockton, admitted possessing a bladed article and using threatening or insulting words or behaviour on September 12.

Judge Moorhouse gave her a community order with 12 months of probation supervision, and told her: "I'm going to give you a chance."

But he warned her: "Rest assured, the next time you appear in these courts, you are going to be sent to prison."