A man who drank eight pints before he launched an unprovoked attack on a telephone junction box and then used knives to threaten a couple who challenged him.
Lee Hakansson told the couple he was going to kill them but he wouldn't harm their baby, Teesside Crown Court heard.
A judge awarded his victims £1,000 to help them get over their ordeal.
Hakansson had drank eight pints of strong lager while watching a football match before walking home, prosecutor Harry Hadfield told the court.
"He had been to a social function," added Mr Hadfield.
"A couple in their house in Macrae Road in Hartlepool saw Hakansson kicking the junction box on the corner of their street.
"They shouted at him to behave himself and go home.
"As the lady of the house was stood at the front door, Hakansson made his way up the path.
"He produced two knives, one in each hand, and said he was going to kill the couple, but would leave their baby alone.
"The woman slammed her front door, and there was a loud noise which she believes was Hakansson either licking or stabbing the door.
"Police were called, by which time he had put the knives on the garden wall.
"When interviewed, he said he was drunk and could remember little of what happened."
Hakansson, 28, of Macrae Road, Hartlepool, admitted affray and two charges of possessing a bladed article on February 7.
Andrew Teate, defending, said in mitigation: "Mr Hakansson is at a loss to say why he behaved that way that night.
"He wishes it to be known he bears the couple or their child no ill whatsoever.
"This was out of character, as evidenced by the number of references he has been able to provide.
"Mr Hakansson is in work, and he is able to pay compensation at £100 a week for as long as the court thinks appropriate."
Judge Stephen Ashurst sentenced Hakansson to 12 months in prison, suspended for two years, 150 hours of unpaid work, ordered him to observe a curfew for six months, and ordered him to pay £1,000 compensation.
The judge banned Hakansson from contacting his victims for five years.
The judge said: "When I first read this case, I thought it would have to be immediate custody.
"The testimonials have made a difference, speaking as they do of your positive side.
"One of the advantages of not sending you to prison is you keep your job and can pay compensation.
"I hope the victims will use your money to help them get over their nasty ordeal at your hands, perhaps by taking a short holiday.
"If by not locking you up I have made an error of judgement and you offend again, you will come back before me and I will correct that error."