A “SADISTIC” ex-boyfriend threatened to kill a terrified mum and her pet dog, while her horrified children begged him to stop.
Thomas James made a series of sinister threats to his ex-girlfriend while brandishing a kitchen knife, and punched and slapped the mum as her young son and daughter cried in fear, pleading “please don’t kill our mam”.
The family’s horrifying ordeal at their home only came to an end when a passing milkman heard the mum’s cries for help and contacted the police.
At Newcastle Crown Court yesterday James, of St Peter’s Riverside, Sunderland, was jailed for four years after he admitted threats to kill and common assault.
Mr Recorder Robin Mairs told the 25-year-old: “You took sadistic pleasure in torturing your former partner and her two young children. You were in a rage because you thought she might be seeing someone else.
“This was a despicable, cowardly offence, committed against a vulnerable woman in her own home with her children present.”
The court heard the mum had ended her 13-month relationship with James because of his accusatory and controlling behaviour, which included regular checks of her phone and even her underwear. Just months before the attack, James had been convicted of battery and criminal damage and was still the subject of a court order when he turned up at the house in September.
The court heard James had gone to his ex’s home claiming he needed a bed for the night and she took him in through pity, but said he must sleep in a spare room and make sure the children, who are both under 10, were not woken.
Instead of going to sleep, James took the opportunity to check through her mobile phone and flipped when he saw messages he didn’t like.
In the ugly scenes that followed, the mum was punched, threatened and “back handed” and her little girl’s hand was hurt when James snatched a phone from her.
James threatened he would then kill the terrified mum.
Prosecutor Simon Worthy told the court: “He made comments to her children as well as her. The young children were saying ‘please don’t kill my mam’.
“He armed himself with a kitchen knife, grabbed the mother by the mouth and began to shout at the children: ‘Tell your mam to calm down and stop shouting’.
“He picked up the dog and was threatening to kill the dog.
“He said ‘this is where you lose the dog’ and all parties began to scream.”
The court heard the dog managed to get away and James left the house, locking the frightened family inside.
He then came back, but the terrified mum managed to get the attention of the milkman before any further harm could be caused.
James was arrested hiding under one of the children’s beds.
The mum, who has been repeatedly contacted by James while he was on remand, told police she is still terrified and said: “I believe he is capable of carrying out what he threatened last time.”
James must stay away from the family under the terms of an indefinite restraining order.
Bob Spragg, defending, said James remembers little about what happened because he was drunk, but realises the relationship is over and that he needs to deal with his problems.