A Northampton man who claimed to have spent a day drinking cider had to be tasered by police shortly after waving a kitchen knife in his son's letterbox.
Darren Elderton, of Pembroke Road, Spencer, appeared at Northampton Crown Court yesterday, charged with causing criminal damage, being in possession of a knife in a public place and obstructing police in the line of duty.
In a bizarre incident on October 9 this year, the 48-year-old turned up at his son's house having spent the day drinking White Lightning, a premium-strength cider.
At around 1.30am Elderton waved a kitchen knife in the letterbox while hurling abuse at his son - before using a paving slab to smash a glass panel. He later told police he could not remember why he had done so.
When police turned up at his house, they had to taser him before arresting him, Northampton Crown Court heard, as he was in an agitated state and carrying two knives.
Handing him to a 10-month sentence, suspended for a year, recorder Graham Huston said Elderton was fortunate not to be sent to prison.
He said: "It caused a great deal of alarm and distress to your son and his family.
"Someone could have easily been injured because of your behaviour."
On the defendant's decision to drink the strong cider that day, the recorder added: "There is only ever going to be one outcome when that is the drink of choice."
The court heard how Elderton, who represented himself in court, had been drinking the strong cider from1pm that day - and when police arrived at his house he refused to open the door - stating they would need to break it down.
Eventually, they gained access through a side entrance before subduing him with the taser gun.
But recorder Huston said the defendant had shown "genuine remorse," was taking steps to kerb his drinking and had an "excellent employment" record as a lorry driver.