A young mum collapsed in tears when a judge jailed her for three months at Bradford Crown Court.

Alexia Heckles, who gave birth to a son two months ago, was sent to a young offenders' institution after pleading guilty to robbery and intimidating a witness.

The court heard that Heckles and accomplice Samantha Dunne had confronted a 19-year-old woman - Kay Watson - after she cashed a crisis loan cheque at a Keighley post office.

Prosecutor John Topham described how Heckles, 19, threatened Miss Watson, while Dunne grabbed hold of her. "She was so frightened she handed over the £130 and then ran off crying," said Mr Topham.

The following day Heckles was arrested and charged with robbery. A fortnight later when she saw Miss Watson in the street she threatened her and suggested she should drop the charge. Mr Topham said Miss Watson reported the intimidation to police, but she was so frightened she moved out of her flat for a while.

The court heard that Heckles, of Bingley Road, Cross Roads, committed the offences when she was withdrawing from heroin due to the pregnancy.

Recorder James Allen acc-epted last Friday that Heckles had turned over a new leaf since the offences last April, but he said they were so serious a custodial sentence had to be imposed.

"I fully accept that now, looking back at what you did with hindsight, you are extremely sorry for what you did," he said.

He added that the sentence was the shortest he could possibly impose taking into account Heckles' personal circumstances and mitigation.

Dunne, 26, of Guardhouse Grove, Keighley, who also pleaded guilty to robbery, had her case adjourned for a pre-sentence report to be prepared.

She was granted conditional bail.

Converted for the new archive on 30 June 2000. Some images and formatting may have been lost in the conversion.