A DRUNKEN man held a knife to his father’s neck and threatened to “slice” him, “from ear to ear”, in an early-hours’ doorstep confrontation.

Durham Crown Court was told Stuart Doughty turned up at his father’s home in Shildon appearing tgo be under the influence of alcohol, banging on the window, at 12.20am on April 19.

Christopher Bevan, prosecuting, said the defendant’s father was awoken and shouted for his son to go away as it was, “late”.

But Doughty picked up a brick and threatened to smash a window, so his father went down to the door and began to chat to his son.

Mr Bevan said the defendant calmed down and after a while went away, but he came back at 1.15am carrying a small-bladed craft-type knife.

It was then that he uttered the threat to “slice” his father, “from ear to ear”, as he pushed it at his neck.

Seeing the fear in his father’s face he feared he may be going to have a heart attack, and so threatened to turn the knife on himself, placing it against his own throat.

He told his father: “It’s either you or me”, and he urged him to press down on it, saying it would look like self-defence if he did push the knife into his throat.

Mr Bevan said having self-harmed to his arms, Doughty calmed down and handed the knife to his father, who called for the police.

He noticed red marks to his neck caused by the knife and said he had never been so frightened in his life, fearing he may be killed.

The Northern Echo: Stuart Doughty made drunken knifepoint threats on his father's doorstep in the early hours of the morning Picture: DURHAM CONSTABULARYStuart Doughty made drunken knifepoint threats on his father's doorstep in the early hours of the morning Picture: DURHAM CONSTABULARY

But he also said that giving a statement against his son was one of the hardest things he had ever done.

The 33-year-old defendant, of Firtree, Shildon, admitted threatening a person with a bladed article.

His previous four convictions for six offences were said to include one of threatening words and behaviour while in possession of a knife, for which he received a suspended prison sentence, in July 2021.

Tabitha Buck, in mitigation, said the defendant suffers with depression and anxiety, and all of his offences have been committed while under the influence of alcohol.

“There has been no pattern to his offending behaviour, other than the fact he’s in drink.”

Miss Buck said when admitted to custody, on remand, for this offence, Doughty referred himself to the drug and alcohol service as well as to the mental health team within Durham Prison.

Read more: Stockton man's phone threats to harm people at pub were considered, 'a cry for help'

Judge James Adkin told Doughy: “You were given a final chance on your last occasion before the court.

“It seems you are unwilling or unable to overcome your drink problems.

“This was, clearly, a dangerous situation.”

Imposing an immediate 16-month prison sentence, including two months from the suspended sentence, Judge Adkin also made Doughty subject of a five-year restraining order forbidding him going within 100 yards of his father’s home address.

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