A drunk who held a knife to his own throat when he was challenged by police was given a jail sentence which allowed him to walk free.
The police had received a report at 5am of a man trying car doors, which led them to Stuart West, 31.
He was seen beside a white Transit holding a 10-inch knife pointed towards the ground.
Prosecutor Harry Hadfield told Teesside Crown Court: “As the officer approached West he pointed it at the officer, who drew his Taser. Then West put the blade towards his own throat, and the officer released his Taser.”
Mr Hadfield said that West appeared to be intoxicated on his arrest, and other units arrived to arrest him. He was taken to hospital and later released.
He said that he had not threatened the officer with the knife and that if the officer had approached him, he would have cut himself.
He held it to the right side of his neck and then he moved it to the left. He said that it was a fishing knife that he had in his shorts.
Mr Hadfield said West had previous convictions including wounding and possessing an offensive weapon. He had been given a community order in April for theft.
Andrew Teate, defending, said West accepted he had a dangerous item in a public place.
He said West had spent the equivalent of an eight-month prison sentence in custody since his arrest at the scene in Tunstall Avenue, Hartlepool, on July 10.
Mr Teate said that West intended to stay off hard drugs and had more than halved his intake of Methadone strips.
West, of Elliott Street, Hartlepool, was jailed for eight months after he pleaded guilty to possession of an offensive weapon.
Judge Deborah Sherwin said: “I intend that the sentence I am passing will enable you to be released today.”