A terrified mum thought she was about to be killed when she woke to find her ex-boyfriend standing beside her bed and armed with a knife.
The woman was convinced her little boy would find her dead body the next morning when she was confronted by the terrifying late-night sight.
Newcastle Crown Court heard Nicky Black had broke into the woman's home last September by smashing a patio door.
He picked up a knife from her kitchen and then stood beside her bed.
When the worried mum woke up and tried to get away, Black held the knife to her throat and warned "if you scream I will slice your neck open".
Black, who had struggled to cope after the breakdown of the eight year relationship with the victim, said he "wasn't prepared to live without her".
The court heard Black eventually dropped the knife and the woman, who said it was dark when he broke in, calmed him down until it was daytime.
When she finally persuaded him to leave her home, she broke down in tears and called for help.
In a victim statement she said: "Throughout this incident I was absolutely petrified.
"I was constantly thinking to myself my son was going to wake up and find me dead in my bedroom.
"it was a horrifying thought but I honestly thought it was going to happen.
"I want him out of my life for good.
"This man is a danger to me. He is capable of seriously hurting me."
Black, 29, formerly of Sea Avenue, Sunderland, admitted burglary.
He also pleaded guilty to a charge of common result in relation to the woman a few days before the break in.
Mr Recorder Andrew Haslam sentenced him to three years and three months behind bars.
The judge said: "You terrified her.
"This is someone who you had an eight year relationship with, with whom you had a child.
"She thought, understandably, that she was going to die.
"She thought you were going to kill her."
Vince Ward, defending, said Black has "not responded appropriately" to the relationship breakdown and his behaviour was an "emotional explosion".
Mr Ward said Black has spent the time he has been on remand to reflect on his behaviour and seek help to change.