A man threatened to stab neighbours after he walked into the street with a dumbbell bar.
William Routledge, 45, walked into the street holding the bar after drinking five litres of cider for breakfast.
He was met by two neighbours who convinced him to put down the weapon and return home.
When he got home, he then phoned police making threats that he would stab people who lived near him – prompting an armed police response to his home.
Andrew Page, prosecuting, told Liverpool Magistrates' Court how on June 14 the 45-year-old walked out of his home on Taylors Close in Liverpool, holding the bar from a dumbbell.
Two neighbours saw Routledge and asked him to put down the weapon, which he did before returning home.
Top news stories
The 35-year-old then dialled 999 and told police threats had been made towards him by people who live in his close.
He then told the phone operator he would go out and "stab people" and would go and use the metal bar as a weapon.
Armed police were then called to the address and Routledge threatened to stab officers if they came through the door.
He was then arrested and the metal bar was recovered.
If you are suffering from problems with alcohol, there are many helplines which may be able to support you.
Talk to FRANK
You can ring FRANK anytime and speak to a friendly adviser who's professionally trained to give you straight up, unbiased information about drugs and alcohol.
It’s totally confidential – we won't ask for your name or repeat your conversation with others.
Freephone: 0300 123 6600
Offers advice and information for people worried about their own drinking, and support to the family and friends of people who are drinking.
Helpline: 0300 123 1110
In interview Routledge told police he had drunk more than his "usual two and a half litres" of cider in the morning.
The court heard how the man's father would bring him two and a half litres of cider in the morning and two in the evening – but that day had given him all the alcohol in the morning as he was "sick of dealing with his alcohol addiction".
Mr Page explained to the court that Routledge has paranoid schizophrenia and told officers that he hears voices which call him a paedophile.
He told the court that on the day in question the voices told him "people would come and get him as he's a paedo".
He said he didn't mean for anyone to fear him and didn't intend to use the dumbbell, but he did admit the charge of possession of an offensive weapon in a public place and threatening to damage/destroy property.
Routledge has three previous convictions for possession of an offensive weapon but has not had any relevant convictions to this case in the last 28 years.
Rory McCormack, defending, explained to District Judge Paul Healey, that due to Routledge's previous convictions he must impose a minimum of a six-month custodial sentence unless he finds it unjust to do so.
Mr McCormack then detailed that it would be unjust in this particular case as although he does have relevant offences these go back "many, many years", with the first having taken place in 1989 followed by possession of a blade in 1991 and again in 1992.
The court heard that there was no evidence Routledge ever made threats to anyone in the close – and that in fact when confronted by two neighbours he handed over the dumbbell bar and went home.
Mr McCormack said: "There is no suggestion he made any threats to them or to anyone else in the close."
He also highlighted that Routledge was bailed as in a prior court hearing as he was "known to all the neighbours" who "know him and look out for him", giving him support in the community.
The court heard how Routledge had lived at the close for 11 years, and there hasn't until this incident been any problems between him and his neighbours.
We have launched a Facebook group to bring you the latest stories from court all in one place.
It will feature reports from Liverpool Crown Court and cases connected to Merseyside.
To join and get updates, click here.
You can also follow our court reporter's Facebook page.
Mr McCormack suggested that this incident may have been a "cry for help" as he called police himself, albeit to make threats.
He also explained that Routledge has been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia for a long time and is visited once a day by a key worker and a nurse.
Mr McCormack said that the defendant has been cooperating in all other aspects since his last court appearance.
He receives a depot injection to treat his schizophrenia and also has oral medication, but when this incident took place he had not taken it.
His legal representative explained that he used alcohol as a way to self-medicate, however, this exacerbates the problem and on this day voices had told him that people were coming to his house to "cut off his genitals".
Keep up to date with crime in your area by adding your postcode below
The court also heard how his father would bring him the alcohol to gradually reduce his consumption and on two occasions had managed to reduce it completely.
Judge Healey spared Routledge an immediate custodial sentence accepting Mc McCormack's mitigating features and on the basis he has "substantial support" while at home.
Instead he imposed a six-month sentence suspended for one year and ordered Routledge to complete 20 days of work with the probation service.
He must also undertake alcohol treatment for six months and pay £213 in costs and victim surcharge.