A MAN was seen chasing a woman, shouting aggressively, while carrying a large knife and a bottle of brandy, a court was told.

Grant Patrick Rymell was heard shouting threats as to what he was going to do to his partner as he headed towards the centre of Annfield Plain, near Stanley, at 9.45pm on October 21.

Durham Crown Court heard that a woman driving through the village saw what was happening and noticed Rymell was unsteady on his feet and heavily drunk as he waved the knife around.

The passing motorist went to the aid of the woman, who also appeared drunk, offering her a lift to enable her to escape the defendant.

Shaun Dryden, prosecuting, said when police later visited his home he tried to barricade himself in by placing a fridge against the door, before he was arrested.

By the time he was interviewed he claimed to have little memory of the incident due to downing a bottle-and-a-half of brandy.

He accepted being “wrecked” at the time, and conceded he may have been agitated.

His partner refused to give a statement, but the female motorist who helped her told police she felt scared and alarmed at the situation.

The court was told the defendant’s record of 26 past offences includes a previous conviction for possessing a knife in public, following a domestic incident, in 2011.

Twenty-two-year-old Rymell, of Duffy Terrace, Annfield Plain, admitted possessing a knife in public, relating to the latest incident.

Mr Dryden said given that it was his second such offence her falls to receive at least a six-month prison sentence, under legislation introduced earlier this year.

Peter Walsh, mitigating, said Rymell had been in the relationship for five years, and, after initially being volatile, things improved and he remained out of trouble for two-and-a-half years until the day of the incident.

Mr Walsh referred to it as, “a lapse”, but Judge Christopher Prince said it was more a case of a, “repeat offence.”

Jailing him for a year, Judge Prince noted that Rymell told police he would have used the knife if he thought it necessary to do so.

Judge Prince also commended the actions of the passing motorist who helped diffuse the situation by coming to the aid of the fleeing victim.