A DRUNK threatened his partner with a kitchen knife after bursting into her home as their relationship troubles came to a head.
Carol Gordon fled into the street to call for help after Jeffrey Davison turned up at her Pallion home at 1am.
Durham Crown Court heard she was left with minor injuries to her neck as he grabbed her round the throat in the confrontation.
David Lamb, prosecuting, said the incident happened on September 9, when Ms Gordon opened her door in a dressing gown and he pushed past her into the house, carrying the knife.
He said: “She grabbed her mobile phone to try and dial 999 but the defendant took that off her and she ran into the street and called the police on a public telephone and the defendant drove away from the scene in his vehicle.
“He was arrested about half an hour later at his home and it was clear to the arresting officer he was under the influence of alcohol.”
He said tests showed he had 69 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath – the legal limit is 35 microgrammes.
The 49-year-old admitted assault occasioning actual bodily harm, possession of an offensive weapon and drink driving.
Katherine Dunn, mitigating, said tensions had been brewing for a year before the attack happened and the couple had since decided to split up.
She said Davison, previously of Caspian Road, Hylton Castle, had since moved away from the area and was of good character, handing forward letters and references of support.
Judge Colin Burn, who had remarked on Davison’s military career, said the offences deserved a custodial sentence.
However, he decided to suspend the jail term of nine months for the assault and six months for possession of an offensive weapon, both for two years.
Davison was also banned from driving for 18 months for the drink drive offence.
Judge Burn said: “The prosecution is absolutely right, there were minor injuries caused to the complainant.
“The fact is it’s the detail in this case that someone bursts into a house with a blade which is a very frightening prospect.
“I take into account you are previously a man of good character before the committal of this offence. I take into account your guilty plea at the first available opportunity.
“I also take into account the background to this matter.”