An alcoholic who armed himself with a knife from his home following a confrontation in the street with another man has been locked up.

Joseph Leighton was caught on mobile phone footage brandishing the kitchen knife in the street while he could be heard ranting and raving at the other person, who was carrying a machete during the incident.

The 52-year-old former bomb disposal officer was heard shouting ‘I know where you live. I’m coming for you’ in the footage which was played at Teesside Crown Court.

Anthony Pettengell, prosecuting, said: “There was an altercation in the street. He went into his house and came out with the knife.

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“He was on a suspended sentence at the time and this happened two months later.

“There was no evidence that he intended to use the knife but to simply threaten with it.”

The Northern Echo: Joseph LeightonJoseph Leighton (Image: Cleveland Police)

Leighton, of Elwick Road, Hartlepool, pleaded guilty to possession of a knife in a public place following the incident on March 12 this year.

Rod Hunt, mitigating, said his client was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after he had to flee for his life when his lorry cab caught fire.

“He is not the sort of ‘yobbo’ you would see fighting in the street with a knife,” he said.

The defence counsel added that Leighton had turned to alcohol as a way of dealing with his PTSD and urged the judge to spare him from immediate custody.

Judge Anthony James Brown told the defendant that custody was the only option and activated his suspended sentence before locking him up for a total of 21 months.

“The original offence relates to a very unpleasant assault on your then partner. I’m told that at the time you were sentenced for that offence they didn’t have a medical report.

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“You are someone who has been diagnosed with PTSD that relates to an incident when the cab of your lorry was burnt out and it had a profound effect on you.

“While servicing in the army you were a very dangerous unit, bomb disposal, and that something that also impacted on you.

“At the time of the original offence you were drinking heavily which impaired your behaviour,” he said.

Dealing with the knife incident, he added: “You were shouting and ranting in the street with the man, you should have walked away but you took the conscious decision to go back to your house to get the knife.”