A former squaddie startled his drinking companions when he turned up at a social club with a knife.
William Brady mistakenly thought someone in the Owton Manor Club in Hartlepool had taken his mobile phone.
The judge in the case gave Brady, 59, a community order with unpaid work and said: “Particularly when you were in drink, there was a risk someone would have been seriously injured.”
Brady, who had drunk half a bottle of Jack Daniel’s whiskey, left the club after a short time, Teesside Magistrates’ Court heard.
“He threw the knife away as he went,” said Lynne Dalton, prosecuting.
“Customers called the police, who arrived a short time later.
“Officers were still present when Brady returned to the club.
“He was arrested and interviewed. His explanation was that he had received a text about a friend of his son committing suicide.
“Brady said he had been drinking with his son, and had had half a bottle of Jack Daniel’s, a drink he didn’t usually take.”
Brady, of Dalkeith Road, Hartlepool, admitted possession of a bladed article on March 28.
The court’s liaison probation officer said: “Mr Brady says he threatened no one with the knife.
“He realises it was a stupid thing to do, to take it to the club, and he realises people in there may have been upset by what he did.
“Mr Brady is in work, and has always had a good work ethic, having spent 10 years in the Army, which included tours of Northern Ireland.
“He knows he needs to curtail his drinking, which increased after his wife died.”
Brett Wildridge, defending, said he had nothing to add to the probation officer’s report.
District Judge Kristina Harrison sentenced Brady to a community order of 12 months, 100 hours of community work, 15 days of rehabilitation activity, and ordered him to pay £170 costs.
The judge told Brady: “As you now realise it was a stupid thing to do to take that knife to the club.
“Particularly so when you were drink, there was a risk someone would have been seriously injured.”
The judge ordered the confiscation and destruction of the knife.