A man faced with eviction greeted bailiffs with threats that they would be killed, while armed with a samurai sword, a court heard.

Wayne Porter’s violent reaction on the day a terraced home in Ferryhill was to be repossessed has earned him an 18-month prison sentence.

Durham Crown Court was told property management officers arranged to meet a locksmith and two High Court officers at the address in Faraday Street, on March 11 this year.

Annelise Haugstad, prosecuting, said bailiffs and the landlord were present as eviction notices had been ignored.

The Northern Echo: Wayne Porter, jailed for making threats to kill while holdiong a samurai sword as bailiffs arrived

Although the tenant at the property was female, it was Porter who greeted those attending, opening the curtains with shouts of “f*** off”, while making threats that he had a baseball bat, as he drank from a can of strong French lager.

Miss Haugstsd said he was shouting: “You are not having my house. I’ll hit you with a baseball bat if you try to come in.

“If you come in, you’ll get chopped up.”

Following the arrival of further High Court officers, Porter seemed to have disappeared by another door, so the locksmith was told to open the door.

He managed to open it, and, on checking, the house seemed empty, so the agents went about taking internal photographs of the property.

The Northern Echo: Wayne Porter, 45, given an 18-month prison sentence for making threats to kill and affray

As they were doing so, a male voice was heard shouting: “Get out of my f***ing house.”

They saw a man waving his arms about and shouting: “I’m going to kill you”, while holding a samurai sword, still in its casing.

Miss Haugstad said Porter pulled off the casing and brandished the sword, repeating threats that he would “chop up” those present if they did not leave.

One of the agents was so scared she ran straight from the house, followed by others present.

Emerging from the house she shouted: “I’ve just had a samurai sword pulled on me”, while expressing concern for one of her female colleagues.

A 999 call was made to the police, but at that stage the locksmith was still in the property.

When he saw Porter in possession of the sword, he, too, ran from the house.

The defendant was still shouting through a broken door panel that he would “chop up” people entering, telling them he had new keys and none of them were going to gain access.

He then threw a broken piece of door panel at the locksmith, outside, but when police arrived he had gone.

The sword was found behind a fridge in the rear yard of a neighbouring property.

Officers armed with tasers searched the house and were unable to find Porter, who handed himself in to police more than a fortnight later.

The 44-year-old defendant, of Barrington Terrace, Ferryhill, went before magistrates the following day and admitted charges of threatening the female property maintenance officer and the locksmith with a bladed article, plus a single count of affray.

The Northern Echo:

Victim statements were read to the court by those threatened by Porter.

Miss Haugstad said the locksmith, an Army veteran of 13 years who was medically discharged with a back fracture and PTSD, said the incident brought back "unpleasant memories".

He said he genuinely feared for his life, a comment echoed by one of the property agents who quit her job the following day having suffered panic attacks.

Her supervisor said she felt “defenceless” and still hears the defendant shouting and screaming in her head.

Miss Haugstad said Porter has 19 convictions for 35 offences, including an attack on a police officer as a youth, but most of his record since has been for driving, dishonesty and drugs offences.

She added that at the time of the latest offence, last month, the defendant was subject to post-sentence licence supervision, after a previous conviction.

Amrit Jandoo, for Porter, said knowing he and his long-term partner were to be evicted he “exploded” as he did that day.

“He accepts it was appalling, threatening people as he did.

“He knew it was coming (the eviction).

“The incident went on for about 20 minutes and he wasn’t intending to hurt anyone, it was just out of frustration and mental torment that he behaved in this way.

“He accepts it crosses the custody threshold.

“Although he has an affray on his record from 2015, his offending has all been for rather low-level matters previously.

“You can take from that that this was an isolated incident.

“It was through his personal circumstances that he behaved in this way.”

Mr Jandoo added that the defendant does now have a fixed address where he has been living.

Judge Jo Kidd told Porter that members of the public, merely carrying out their jobs, intending to evict him, were the subject of his threats.

“You had ignored repeated information and you knew what was going to happen that day.

“Those people were entitled to carry out their jobs without fear of attack by you.

“It’s extremely concerning that you had a samurai sword at your home and you were under the influence of alcohol, and this caused obvious distress.

“They feared they would be killed and one of them left her job the following day.

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“It’s had consequences on their mental and physical health and causing one to leave her employment.”

Judge Kidd said there needs to be ongoing work to address the defendant’s drug issues.

Imposing the 18-month prison sentence, she also ordered forfeiture and destruction of the samurai sword.