A startled householder went to his front door to find a drunken yob's 'bizarre behaviour' led to him posting a knife through his letterbox.
Patrick Rooney fled when challenged, crashing through the householder's garden fence and the fence of the property next door.
Rooney couldn't explain his actions, but later told police he had got drunk after being stood up by a woman.
"He was seen in Macaulay Road in Hartlepool at about 7pm," said Emma Atkinson, prosecuting.
"A neighbour kept an eye on him, noticing he had a knife, was agitated, and had some blood on his face.
"Rooney posted the knife through the letterbox of a house before collapsing against the front door.
"When challenged, he ran through the front and back garden of the house, jumped the fence causing damage, and did the same to the fence of the house next door."
Rooney, 35, Owton Manor Lane, Hartlepool, admitted possessing a bladed article, and he admitted two charges of criminal damage, both on June 19.
He has previous convictions for being drunk and disorderly, and for failing to provide a specimen of breath.
Michael Cahill, defending, said in mitigation:"Mr Rooney's offending history is limited, but it shows drink is his problem.
"On this day he had been to Asda to buy some household items, including the knife.
"He had planned to meet a girl, but she stood him up so he went on a bender.
"Mr Rooney cannot explain why he put the knife through the letterbox, he certainly had no dispute with the householder.
"While he couldn't complain if he was given a short period of custody, he would welcome the opportunity of help with his drink problem.
"He has the offer of a job as a decorator which will help him get his life back on track."
Judge Peter Armstrong sentenced Rooney to a community order of 12 months, 60 hours of unpaid work, and 15 rehabilitation activity days.
The judge told him: "It is clear drink is your problem.
"Your behaviour that day was bizarre.
"I accept you bore no animosity to the householder, but the problem with people carrying knives is the temptation is always there to use them."
The knife was confiscated and will be destroyed.