A driver lost his temper when his parking was challenged at a leisure centre.
Damien Rodgers swore and made threats at the parking enforcement officer at the Galleries, Washington.
Rodgers said later he thought it was part of the officer's job to be abused by members of the public.
"Mr Rodgers was sitting in his parked car which was not in a marked bay," said Eve McDonnell, prosecuting, at South Tyneside Magistrates' Court.
"The officer tapped on the car's window to gain his attention.
"Me Rodgers ignored this at first, but then got out of the car and began a verbal altercation.
"He later admitted making threats, but said he didn't have any intention to carry them out."
Rodgers. 39, of Coach Road Estate, Washington, admitted threatening behaviour on January 4.
His probation officer told the court: "Mr Rodgers needs help with his thinking skills, the lack of which have caused him problems.
"He was working as a long distance lorry driver, but he lost his licence meaning he also lost his job.
"He lives on bis own in his own flat on which he is paying a mortgage.
"This month's payments have been made, but he doesn't know how he is going to manage next month.
"On the day of this offence, he was going to pick up his girlfriend.
"Mr Rodgers believes the warden was antagonistic and gave as good as he got.
"On reflection, he realises he should have kept quiet.
"He had no intention of doing any violence to the officer, but Mr Rodgers doesn't realise the impact verbal threats and abuse can have on someone."
Rodgers was sentenced to s community order of 12 months, 100 hours of unpaid work, 15 rehabilitation activity days, and ordered to pay £170 costs.