An army veteran struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been given the chance to get his life back on track after he threatened to kill his brother following a family fall out.

William Hudson armed himself with a knife before setting off from Leeds to confront his brother at his Guisborough home.

The 39-year-old had sent a series of anguished and threatening messages to his father and his niece in the hours leading up to his arrest.

Paul Newcombe, prosecuting, said Hudson quickly dropped the knife when police approached him outside his brother’s home.

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However, he pushed an officer out of the way when they attempted to place handcuffs on him, Teesside Crown Court heard.

Mr Newcombe said: “On July 10, just after midday, the defendant sent to his father and niece a series of texts and it is clear from the tone of the texts that he was in some degree of anguish.

“The defendant’s father says in his statement that his son is suffering from PTSD after having served on Iraq, Afghanistan and Bosnia but is exasperating his poor mental health by abusing crack cocaine.”

Hudson, Salisbury Place, Hartlepool, pleaded guilty to possession of a bladed article, assault on an emergency worker and two charges of making threats to kill.

Nigel Soppitt, mitigating, said his client was a staff sergeant in charge of up to 300 men in his tank command before leaving the military.

He said the impact of what he saw while serving his country, including witnessing the death of five friends and colleagues, had resulted in him suffering from PTSD.

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Recorder Andrew Dallas told the defendant he deserved help and support to enjoy a better life after his distinguished military service of a 16-year period.

“I’m giving you a massive chance here,” he said. “I think your offending is mitigates by your mental health at the time.

“I hope you have thought long and hard about whether crack cocaine helps you with the effects of PTSD.”

Hudson was sentenced to eight months in prison, suspended for 18-months and ordered to carryout 150 hours of unpaid work and attend 30 rehabilitation activity requirement days.