A DRUNKEN man became involved in a knifepoint tussle with a family relative summoned to calm him after a domestic row got out of hand.

John Christopher Rowland came back “worse for wear” to his grandfather’s house in Ferryhill, where he was staying at the time, on his return from a barbecue, with his girlfriend, at 8pm on June 29.

Durham Crown Court was told a short time later his grandfather, who was in the garden of his home in Ravensworth Road on the summer evening, became aware of screaming upstairs.

On checking he was told there had been a domestic row and Rowland’s girlfriend was crying on the bed.

Shaun Dodds, prosecuting, said when the grandfather went back outside he could soon hear more screams, so summoned other family members to offer assistance.

Rowland came downstairs and stormed out of the house, after punching out a panel on an interior living room door.

Several family members arrived to help calm the situation but, about an hour later, Rowland returned armed with a foot-long knife which he held in front of the face of one of the would-be peacemakers, who he had earlier threatened to kill.

The relative tried throwing a plastic plant pot at Rowland, and the pair began to tussle in the garden.

Mr Dodds said it was only when other members of the family emerged into the garden that Rowland ran off, before being arrested later that night at a different address, having disposed of the knife.

Rowland, 29, of Rennie Walk, Darlington, admitted possessing an article with a blade or point, common assault and criminal damage.

Duncan McReddie, mitigating, said Rowland is prone to acting impulsively and, since he has been in custody, has tried to address his issues which led to him behaving as he did that night.

Mr McReddie added that the defendant is, otherwise, relatively lightly convicted.

Judge Jonathan Carroll told Rowland: “The difficulty is that you get yourself drunk and, as is not uncommon in such circumstances, you end up in a ‘domestic’.”

He told Rowland his behaviour was, “somewhat petulant and stroppy”, but later, when armed with a “substantial” knife, he posed a risk of causing serious injury.

“Thank God no-one was injured in this case.”

Passing a 13-month and two week prison sentence, Judge Carroll told Rowland the first thing he should do on his release is to apologise to his grandfather.