A MOTHER terrified families at Thame Fair by brandishing seven knives and a meat cleaver when she thought her son had been kidnapped.

Lavinia Ryan, of Van Diemans Road, Thame, told one stallholder there would be “carnage” unless her 12-year-old was returned to her within one hour.

The 43-year-old admitted possessing a bladed article in a public place at the town centre fair on September 21.

Cathy Olliver, prosecuting, said Ryan had become “irrationally convinced” that the people running the fair had taken her son, who in fact was playing with a friend. She told Judge Ian Pringle that Ryan took eight blades – four in each hand – and walked through the fair threatening stallholders.

Miss Olliver said she was eventually overpowered by security guards and sustained injuries to her head and hand during the struggle.

Timothy Boswell, defending, told Judge Pringle his client suffered from a personality disorder which she was able to control with medication.

He said that because of her mental heath problems, sending Ryan to prison could increase the risk of her behaving violently in the future.

Judge Pringle told her: “You brandished these knives at stallholders and members of the public – the terror you inspired must have been enormous. I hope you always remember behaviour like that is totally unacceptable.”

He sentenced her to six months in prison, suspended for two years, with activity and supervision requirements, and told her to pay an £80 victims’ surcharge.