AN "agitated" woman has been spared jail after she threatened to kill a homeless man when he declined her offer - of some chips.

Briggette Saunders, 36, was handed a 10-month suspended jail sentence after pulling a knife on rough sleeper Steven Higgins in a Somerset street in August last year.

Bristol Crown Court heard that Saunders offered the man a box of chips, and later returned with a bottle of vodka - to which Mr Higgins said "no thanks" both times.

Saunders became such a bother for Mr Higgins that he pointed her out to police - causing her to lunge at the homeless man with a steak knife and say "I'm going to kill you".

Saunders, of Clevedon Road, Nailsea, pleaded guilty to threatening behaviour and assault in August last year after an incident in Nailsea High Street.

She was handed a 10-month jail sentence on Friday (Sept 27) at Bristol Crown Court, suspended for 12 months.

Saunders was also ordered to complete 25 days of rehabilitation.

The court heard that saw Mr Higgins in the doorway of Waitrose in Nailsea, and offered him chips.

Julian Howells, prosecuting, said that Saunders tried to hand him the chips, telling him "people like him" shouldn't be sitting where he was.

She later returned with a bottle of vodka and more chips, and when he again said "no thanks" she became agitated and threatened to kill him.

He spoke to police and police spoke to Saunders, warning her that her gesture was nice but unwanted, the court heard.

Later, Saunders was holding a steak knife when she went "nose to nose" with Mr Higgins, saying: "I'm going to kill you, you're a police grass," Mr Howells said.

She was seen to lunge at him with the blade some four times but he managed to dodge her.

Police found her with a cut hand and, at Patchway custody suite, she flung out her arm and caught custody officer Jennifer Eaton in her right eye.

Farah Rashid, defending, said her client suffered from mental health and physical difficulties.