A MAN who threatened his neighbour with a knife when he came home drunk has been spared jail to care for his elderly mother.

Lee Vial, 48, told his neighbour Dean Morgan he would “slit his throat” during the row outside their homes in Holker Street, Barrow.

Preston Crown Court heard Mr Morgan was on his way home after drinking in Barrow town centre at around 1am on May 18 last year, when he saw Vial standing on his front courtyard looking angry.

An argument broke out over the garden wall between the men, with Vial waving his fist and hitting Mr Morgan in the face.

Vial went into his house and returned carrying a black handled kitchen knife with a 5-6 inch blade.

A neighbour who had witnessed the disturbance shouted at Mr Morgan to run, and Mr Morgan ran behind a parked car - followed by Vial.

Vial then threw the knife back into the house before coming out again and continuing the verbal altercation.

He then walked over to the witness, winked at him and shook his hand, saying: “You didn’t see anything.”

The court heard Vial has a number of convictions for public order and possession of weapons.

He pleaded guilty to affray.

The court heard at the time of the offence Vial was sleeping downstairs at the house providing round-the-clock care for his mother who has dementia and mobility problems.

He claimed the incident was “a moment of madness” at a stressful time in his life.

Judge Simon Medland QC, sentencing, said: “This is your fourth conviction for affray. All your previous convictions are for assault, possession of offensive weapons or public order.

“There was no need for this to happen at all.Whatever noise or disturbance your neighbour was making it should not have resulted in the behaviour you exhibited."