A YOUNG woman who set fire to a pram in Alloa has been given a chance to get herself out of the criminal justice system for good.

Melissa Beresford, 19, appeared for sentencing in relation to two offences at Alloa Sheriff Court on Thursday, April 25.

On March 23 last year, while acting with another in Alloa, she became threatening or abusive by shouting, swearing, banging and kicking a door and brandishing a broom.

Two months later, she set fire to a pram within the close of an address in the town, exposing the occupants of the property to the risk of fire.

She also appeared over a breach of a Community Payback Order (CPO) which had been imposed for a previous offence.

Beresford's solicitor, Aime Allan, said that a Criminal Justice Social Work report prepared for the court indicated she had a number of problems – but was taking steps to address them.

She said: "You will see from reports that Mrs Beresford is a very troubled young woman.

"She has had significant difficulties with both drugs and alcohol in the past, which have clearly led to her offending behaviour.

"You will also see from the report that since mid-February, she has been drug and alcohol free and is making progress to better herself.

"I appreciate one of these matters is a breach of a CPO, and understand that may provide some difficulties.

"But I would highlight to your lordship that she is assessed as being suitable for a community disposal."

Sheriff David Mackie commended Beresford for the positive changes she had made in her life, and imposed sentences to reflect that.

He said to her: "I'm very pleased to see you're making progress.

"The objective is to get you out of criminal justice to get on with your life, free of your addiction problems.

"In relation to the breach, I make no order and will allow it to continue.

"Don't let that slip though, because if you find yourself in breach again it's going to hold you back."

In relation to the other matters, he gave Beresford, of Katrine Court in Alloa, two CPOs with the requirement she complete 180 hours of unpaid work within 12 months.