A TRAWLERMAN broke into the home of his former partner in the early hours of the morning angry that she was sleeping with someone else.

His fearful “ex” and the man she was with barricaded themselves into the kitchen as John Owens shouted threats to slit her throat, having smashed the bathroom window to gain access to the first floor flat in Seaham, at 4am on October 10.

Durham Crown Court heard that as Owens smashed a reinforced glass panel above an internal door and was in the process of peeling away the broken glass to gain access to the kitchen, his former partner and the other man fled from the property, in Church Street.

Anthony Pettengell, prosecuting, said Owens gave chase as the couple dashed to the “sanctuary” of a police vehicle as it arrived in the street, in response to their emergency call.

Mr Pettengell said they jumped into the back of the patrol car as the officers got out to arrest Owens, who was heavily blood-stained from cuts from the broken glass.

The 36-year-old defendant, of Raby Avenue, Easington Colliery, admitted criminal damage to the windows and causing an affray when he appeared before magistrates.

His case was sent to the crown court for sentence, as Owens was said to have previous convictions for violence and affray.

Mr Pettengell said the defendant and the woman at the centre of the case had been in a relationship for 15 years before the split.

On the morning of the incident Owens went to the property suspecting she was with another man and, after knocking at the door, climbed onto a rear elevation to gain access to the bathroom.

Ian Mullarkey, mitigating, said the defendant, a trawlerman, went to his former partner’s home at that time as he had been due to go out to sea, but the voyage was abandoned due to the heavy tides that morning.

Judge Jonathan Carroll told Owens: “There could be no possible justification for turning up at 4am.

“You went there to see if she was alone and when you found she had someone with her you lost all self-control, threatening to slit her throat.

“You smashed your way in trying to get to your ex-partner and her current partner.

“It’s as simple as this. Your relationship had broken down and she was entitled to live at that home in safety and without fear.

“Anyone going into someone’s home at 4am and making such threats can only expect to receive a custodial sentence.”

Imposing a ten-month prison sentence, Judge Carroll also made Owens subject of a five-year restraining order prohibiting him from trying to contact his former partner.

He must also pay £250 compensation for damage to the flat within five months of his release from prison.