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A ZIMBABWEAN mother-of-two with a catalogue of “manipulative” criminal offences has been sent to jail by a UK court.

Sabena Ruwizhi, 31, was convicted of grabbing her ex-fiancé Alex Edstrom by the throat and smashing a picture frame in the face of her mother-in-law Mercy Lopez during a drink-fuelled row.

The attack happened at her home in Wisbech Road, Littleport, last September.

Ruwizhi had denied two charges of assault but was found guilty by a jury at Cambridge Crown Court in May.

She has now been sentenced by the court to 11 months in custody, of which she will serve half.

At the time of the offence, Ruwizhi was subject to two suspended prison sentences.

In May 2008, she was involved in a 29-hour armed police siege at her then home in Cherry Hinton, Cambridge, in which she threatened to kill a child unless her immigration status was resolved.

Ruwizhi received an eight-month prison sentence, suspended for two years after admitting two offences of making threats to kill.

In 2010, she was also given a 12-month suspended sentence for fraudulently claiming £26,000 in benefits.

At court this week, Georgina Gibbs, mitigating, said: “It is clear my client is a lady who has felt isolated being in this country.

“She has suffered with severe depression, and it is this, teamed with her immigration status troubles, which have led to these offences.

“She is absolutely petrified at the thought of going into prison and being apart from her two young children.”

She added: “My client is also terrified about the prospect of having to return to Zimbabwe.”

Psychiatric reports had concluded Ruwizhi did not suffer from any serious mental health problems, the court heard.

Judge Gareth Hawkesworth, sentencing Ruwizhi, said: “What seems clear is that you are a highly manipulative individual who indulges in bursts of unpredictable behaviour.

“You are an attention seeker and you are in complete denial about the offences you have committed, which I must add, are extremely serious.”

Ruwizhi will not be deported when she is released on licence in five-and-a-half months’ time.

She has now had her immigration status resolved and has been given leave to stay in the country.

As she was escorted into the cells, Ruwizhi screamed and sobbed, shouting: “This is not the way to treat illegal immigrants. Lord forgive me.”