A woman who tried to rob two people while she was armed with a knife has been locked up for more than five years.

Kirsty Lauro targeted her first victim when she shuffled up behind her and started asking for money before threatening “slash her to pieces”.

Teesside Crown Court heard how the 46-year-old turned her attention to a visually impaired man but again when she used the knife to threaten him but was unsuccessful in robbing him of his cash before becoming abusive.

Nigel Soppitt, prosecuting, said Lauro told her first victim that she was a ‘working girl’ before attempting to force her to hand over her cash.

“The defendant grabbed hold of her arm and told her she had a knife,” he said. “There was a bit of a struggle and it was at this point she realised she had been cut during the struggle.

“The defendant shouted - ‘take your bag off your shoulder now or I will slash you to pieces, you dog’.”

Mr Soppitt said the defendant targeted her next victim ten minutes later as he walked along the road using a walking cane due to his visual impairment.

He added: “She said she was a working girl and demanded his money. He refused, telling her he didn’t have any and she called him a ‘blind b******’ and then left.”

Police arrested the suspect half an hour later and discovered she was carrying a kitchen knife with a four-to-five-inch blade she used to threat the two victims.

The Northern Echo: Kirsty LauroKirsty Lauro (Image: Cleveland Police)

Lauro, of Staveley Court, Middlesbrough, pleaded guilty to two charges of attempted robbery and possession of a bladed article following her behaviour at around 9.30pm on August 13 last year on Marton Road, Middlesbrough.

Michele Turner, mitigating, said her client’s life spiralled further out of control when she returned to taking drugs when her long-term partner left her due to her erratic behaviour.

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She added: “This is a sad set of circumstances for this defendant. She is a vulnerable individual in her own right.”

Judge Richard Bennett locked Lauro up for a total of five years and two months for all three charges.

He said: “These offences were carried out on the street by you when you were carrying a weapon.

“It is clear to me that your attempted crimes were so that you could get drugs.”