A drunken thug who grabbed hold of a kitchen knife and threatened to kill his stepfather has avoided prison – after his victim asked the court to spare him.
Adam Armitage punched and kicked Jeffrey Moorhouse after returning home late to discover that the front door key had not been left in the usual place.
The 24-year-old then removed the knife from the kitchen and told Mr Moorhouse: “I’m going to kill you.”
The incident at the family’s home in Mirfield lasted for 30 minutes and only ended when Mr Moorhouse managed to lock his stepson outside.
Armitage pleaded guilty to assault and Kirklees Magistrates’ Court heard that his actions were the result of his poor mental health and heavy alcohol consumption.
But Mr Moorhouse asked the Huddersfield court to spare his stepson from jail, claiming that he had been let down by his lack of proper care within the community.
Sentencing Armitage to a 20-week suspended sentence, District Judge Michael Fanning told him: “Anybody who threatens another person with a knife can expect to go to prison, certainly in my courts.
“However, I feel that I can deal with you by way of a suspended sentence.
“Having a particular regard to what the complainant has said, I don’t think that prison is going to solve the underpinning issues that need addressing.”
An earlier hearing at the Huddersfield court heard that Armitage isn’t supposed to drink due to the medication he takes for his ADHD and depression.
Despite this he went out and returned to his Norman Road home drunk in the early hours of March 11.
His mother told him that his key would be in the usual place when he returned but he became upset when he realised that this was not the case.
Jill Seddon, prosecuting, said: “He became violent and abusive and thumped and kicked Mr Moorhouse about his body.
“Mr Moorhouse put his hand up to defend himself and he (Armitage) pushed him onto the sofa.
“He said he was upset about the breakdown of his relationship but then punched him again.
“Armitage got more aggressive, went into the kitchen and produced a large kitchen knife which he held in front of him and said: ‘I’m going to kill you.’”
He was then locked outside by his stepfather but continued to shout abuse as he banged on the door until police were called.
In a victim impact statement Mr Moorhouse said that he and his wife had done the best they could for Armitage and his condition but felt that the system had let him down.
He added: “Custody would put him on a downward spiral of bitterness and further crime.
“I hope he receives some help so that he can become a useful member of society.”
Judge Fanning ordered Armitage to complete 33 days of rehabilitation activities aimed at addressing his issues.
He has to pay £85 costs and £115 victim surcharge.