A COUPLE barricaded themselves in a bedroom as the woman’s crazed ex-husband stabbed a knife through the door and shattered it with a hammer.
Graham Cartwright, 45, also yelled “I’m going to kill you” during the terrifying 2am incident, Teesside Crown Court heard.
The couple woke to discover him in the bedroom with the kitchen knife and hammer after he let himself into the former marital home.
They managed to bundle him out and then laid on the floor with their feet against the door, as he continued to scream threats, said prosecutor Jenny Haigh.
He also shouted that the woman was still his wife, the court heard.
Cartwright and his ex-wife’s 17-year-old daughter called the police.
He was apprehended as he was leaving the house in Braemar Road, Billingham.
Cartwright was spared jail after his ex-wife and her new boyfriend said they did not want to see him jailed for the incident on March 29.
Sean Grainger, mitigating, said Cartwright now accepted that the marriage was over apart from their mutual interest in their daughter.
He said that Cartwright was of previous good character pleaded guilty quickly to causing an affray.
Mr Grainger added: “He accepts that he was aggressive and he over-reacted and he completely lost the plot.”
Cartwright wept in the dock as the facts were outlined.
But the judge accepted that had struggled to come to terms with the breakdown of his marriage, and he did not take the weapons to the house.
Recorder Mark McKone said: “It must have terrified your ex-wife and her new partner.
“It’s very much to their credit that neither of them want to see you sent to prison for what you did.
“Who knows what would have happened if this man had confronted you, you might be facing a charge of murder and a sentence of 25 years for using a knife.
“I am going to give you a chance, I don’t believe that you will ever offend again.”
Cartwright, of Balmoral Avenue, Billingham, was given 18-months jail suspended for two years with 12-months supervision. He was also made the subject of a year-long restraining order and told to pay £500 costs.