A YOUNG offender was involved in two drink-related incidents in which he made knife threats over the space of a few months last year, a court was told.

Alex Wright was holding a knife with a 10cm blade when a communal door was answered to his knocks at High Newham Court, in Stockton, at 7.45pm, on April 3.

Durham Crown Court heard that he told the resident: “If you don’t get back in, I’ll kill you.”

Shaun Dryden, prosecuting, said police were called and were quickly on scene, arresting Wright, who said: “It would have been murder if you hadn’t come down.”

He said the officers would find the knife under a bed in his property, which they did.

Mr Dryden said that while on bail later in the year, Wright committed a series of five low value thefts all from the Co-op store in Wingate over a four-week period.

Three were thefts of alcohol and the other two involved the taking of laundry items.

Wright, who was recognised, was arrested eight days after the last of those thefts and was in possession of a knuckle-duster at the time he was detained.

He made no comment when interviewed.

While again on bail he was also involved in a drunken incident in which he was again carrying a knife as he made threats to someone living in a flat in Wingate.

Mr Dryden said Wright could be heard shouting: “If he gives me a tenner we’re squits. If he doesn’t, I’ll slash him with this knife.

Terrified nearby residents rang the police.

Wright , who made off from the scene, was again arrested and made no reply to police questioning.

Mr Dryden said Wright has two recent convictions for knife carrying offences.

The defendant, 20, of North Road West, Wingate, admitted two charges of affray, possessing a bladed article and an offensive weapon, in public, and five counts of theft.

Umza Khan, mitigating, said he went off the rails last year after the death of his grandfather, with whom he had lived for six years.

Miss Khan said he was diagnosed with depression and anxiety and was receiving counselling for a time.

Imposing a total sentence of three years in a young offenders’ institution, Judge Jonathan Carroll said: “I don’t know how the loss of a grand parent can caused someone to commit these offences.”