A MAN who smashed his way into a former friend's home and threatened to "stab him up" is starting a six-year prison sentence.

Marcus Davies had stopped taking his mental health medication and had illegal drugs before the incident in Hartlepool.

Police found the 36-year-old in the house after being called to the scene by a witness who saw Davies battering the door with a claw hammer.

Teesside Crown Court heard that the intruder had ransacked all of the rooms and was swinging the tool when officers challenged him in the kitchen.

"I'm going to smash his f***ing head in. Wait until I see him," Davies said. "I'm going to stab him up."

After putting down the hammer and being arrested, he was taken to the police station where he repeated the threats, prosecutor Harry Hadfield said.

The court heard that he had gone to the house because he believed his former friend had stolen his mobile phone – which he denied.

The victim said in an impact statement: "I'm trashed that someone has done this to my house.

"I'm scared to return. I'm worried about what could happen to me.

"I'm shocked that this has happened. This has left me feeling very wary of people, and will make it difficult for me to make friends and trust people in the future."

Davies, of Baden Street, Hartlepool, admitted aggravated burglary on March 22.

Andrew Teate, mitigating, said his client's mental health problems – he has been diagnosed with an unstable personality disorder – were made worse by his use of illicit substances.

"He accepts that custody is inevitable, and the sentence will be a lengthy one," said Mr Teate. "However, no actual harm was caused."

Judge Sean Morris heard how Davies has 41 offences on his record, and was jailed for three years in 2014 for an armed robbery at a bookmakers.

The following year, he was prosecuted for threatening to chop off the head of a probation officer and cut her up.

The judge told him: "You have a bad record. You have burgled people's houses on numerous occasions, you have robbed people, you have gone equipped for theft with a mask and pick-axe handle.

"Here, you went into a man's house, smashed your way in with a hammer with intent to cause him really serious bodily injury. You vandalised the property. You were issuing threats, but not directly to the victim.

"Next time you come up for a serious offence, you will be regarded as a dangerous man, and that will attract a different sort of sentence [an extended term for the protection of the public]."