A MAN who made drunken threats to set fire to the home of his partner’s mother and his neighbours has been jailed for 32 months.

Scott Anderson left all involved fearing he intended to carry out his threats as he waved a can of petrol at his neighbours and then flickered a lighter in the vicinity of the fuel canister outside the home of his partner’s mother, in Stanley

Durham Crown Court heard that all the events took place on Monday July 12 after Anderson had been drinking overnight at a friend’s home.

Chris Morrison, prosecuting, said Anderson turned up in an intoxicated state, swigging from a can, at 8.30am to collect his daughter, having been supposed to do so the previous evening.

Due to his condition his daughter’s grandmother refused to allow him to take the girl to school and it enraged Anderson, who threatened to kill her, particularly if she carried out a threat to ring the police.

He warned her he would come back to get her and reinforced it by calling her an hour-and-a-half later, threatening to come around with a chain saw.

Mr Morrison said in a separate incident, on his return home, Anderson shouted aggressively at his neighbours, who were in their garden.

He climbed over the boundary fence and threatened to kill them, making them retreat in fear into their home.

Anderson picked up a broom stick hitting it off their door and threatened to kill one of the family.

He dropped the broom and returned to his garden, where he picked up a canister of petrol and said he would petrol bomb the neighbour’s house, and, if he did not do it, he would get friends to carry out the attack.

Anderson then went back to the home of his partner’s mother and placed the petrol can on a wheelie bin, threatening to burn down her house, as he flickered his lighter.

He was arrested a short time later and told police he had not done enough to merit being detained.

Both victims of Anderson’s threats said they were genuinely fearful he would carry them out, and one of the neighbouring family had even begun to sleep downstairs as a precaution.

The 34-year-old defendant, of Orwell Gardens, Stanley, admitted two counts each of making threats to kill and cause damage to property, plus single charges of sending a malicious message and possessing cannabis, found on him upon his arrest.

Mr Morrison said Anderson’s record, featuring 18 past offences, included cases of threatening behaviour and assault.

Read more: Victim confronted in Stanley street and stabbed four times

Jennifer Coxon, mitigating, said despite his record, her client has never, previously, served an immediate prison sentence.

She said he had always worked in the past but found himself turning to drink during the pandemic when he lost his job.

Miss Coxon said he had been taking medication for anxiety and depression but stopped doing so when he was drinking heavily.

She added: “He accepts alcohol and his mental health, and how he dealt with it, were the catalyst for how he behaved that day.”

Judge Ray Singh told Anderson that his behaviour that day was down to the fact he was, “heavily intoxicated”.

The judge said: “We are all aware people who are in drink have lower inhibitions and are more likely to act in the way you did.”

Jailing Anderson, the judge added that all parties confronted by him that day, “must have been absolutely terrified that you would carry out those threats."

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