A man feared he would be stabbed in the stomach by a drunk neighbour who hadn’t slept in four days.

Antony Sade was described as looking like he wanted to kill someone when he was spotted by his neighbour in the block of flats they shared in Thornford Drive, Westlea.

Prosecutor Tessa Hingston told Swindon Crown Court the man had been outside shaking a carpet on April 25 when he saw his 55-year-old neighbour.

“He said he saw the defendant at the bottom of the communal stairs and he described him as looking as if he was going to kill someone,” she said.

Sade’s chest was puffed and he threw a punch at his victim without success. In self-defence, the man returned a blow before Sade swung his fists and pushed the other man back.

The aggressor went back into his flat, returning with a black-handled kitchen knife.

Ms Hingston said: “The victim said the defendant lunged towards him, making a swiping motion towards his stomach.

“If he hadn’t grabbed the defendant’s arm he believed the knife would have ended up in his stomach.”

In a victim statement summarised by the prosecutor, he said he had been neighbours with Sade for three-and-a-half years.

He said his partner had died as a result of a knife attack and so had been particularly alarmed by the incident.

Sade, of Thornford Drive, Westlea, pleaded guilty to threatening another with a knife.

Defending, Emma Handslip said her client felt a huge sense of shame and humiliation.

Sade, who suffered from mental health issues and severe insomnia, had not slept for four days. He had drunk heavily in an effort to try and get to sleep. He had previously had a disagreement with his neighbour after he made a lude comment about the man’s daughter.

He was now getting support from medics. “He’s just fallen through the cracks. All of these things came together and it was just a catalyst for the behaviour.”

He had three previous convictions including for affray, but had not been in trouble for 12 years.

Judge Jason Taylor QC sentenced him to eight months imprisonment suspended for two years and ordered he complete 30 rehabilitation activity days and pay a £100 fine.

The judge said: "At first blush you will understand it is incredibly serious.

"It deserves immediate custody, especially as you were drunk at the time. However, it is important to note there is a history of animosity between you and your neighbour and nothing of this calibre has ever happened before."

He added: “You need help, which even your victim recognises. And I am encouraged that you completed previous orders from the court, which makes me believe that because you have been referred to mental health you will get the help you want and the help you need.”