A man went berserk with an axe when he threatened to kill his sister and her partner while smashing it into the door and windows of his former family home, a court heard.

Paul Lowe screamed ‘I’ll bury this axe in your head’ as he delivered countless blows trying to force his way into the Darlington property.

A neighbour bravely came out their home to try and calm the situation but the 44-year-old continued to plunge the axe into the door of the house.

Teesside Crown Court heard how Lowe was heavily intoxicated at the time of the violent attack and threatened to bite a chunk out of his own arm before sinking his teeth into his arm after police finally managed to subdue him.

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Uzma Khan, prosecuting, said the defendant was shouting "I own 70 per cent of this house and I can smash it up if I want" as he rained down blow after blow on the house.

She said neighbours tried to intervene when they realised he was using an axe in an attempt to smash his way into the house on Coxwold Drive.

“The male is then seen to have a weapon and is losing his mind,” she said.

“He is using weapon, swinging it backwards and forwards, and they can hear bangs and the sound of glass smashing.

“He could be heard shouting 'you can hear me and see me – come out here'.

“A neighbour becomes involved to try and de-escalate the situation. The neighbour is seriously concerned about the welfare of the occupants.”

The Northern Echo: Paul LowePaul Lowe (Image: Durham Constabulary)

When police arrested the defendant, they found a craft knife stashed in his pocket before he became increasingly agitated and attempted to resist arrest.

In a victim personal statement, Lowe’s brother-in-law said: “He does not care how much grief his is causing us.”

Lowe, of Coxwold Drive, Darlington, pleaded guilty to affray, possession of an axe, and possession of a craft knife, following his arrest in the early hours of July 7 this year.

Emma Williams, mitigating, said her client’s mental health had deteriorated while his addiction problems increased following the death of his mother but is now responding well to treatment.

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She added: “He said something flipped in him that day and he acted in the way that he did. He feels like a weight has been lifted off his shoulders while he has been on remand.”

Recorder Thomas Moran jailed Lowe for a total of 18-months after he used the axe during family home row.

“There has been some falling out between you and your sister,” he said. “At the time you were drunk, picked up an axe went to the house and threatened to kill the occupants.

“You repeatedly struck the door and the windows – you threatened to ‘bury the axe in the male’s head’.”