A Flintshire man who swung a machete at his partner’s sister following a New Year’s Day celebration and used the weapon to smash her car has been spared an immediate imprisonment because his partner is seriously ill.

Russell Scott Kelly, 43, of Rhewl Fawr Road, Penyffordd, near Holywell, had previously admitted affray and damaging a Nissan car outside his home following a terrifying incident when the victim feared she would be killed.

Today he received a 12 month prison sentence but it was suspended for 16 months after Judge Niclas Parry said the court would extend mercy to him because of his partner’s condition.

Mold Crown Court was told there had been a family celebration, Kelly was said to have drunk half a bottle of Jack Daniels whiskey and there had been an argument between him and his partner’s mother in the car on the way home.

Later his partner’s sister, Jayne Connolly, and her partner, Stuart Brown, arrived outside Kelly’s home asking if his partner was alright and wondering why he had argued with her mother.

Kelly initially spoke to them through a bedroom window and said he could not find the door key.

But prosecutor Anna Pope said he then came out through the front door brandishing a machete and said: “Have some of this, I will chop your f…… head off.”

He was said to be ranging and psychotic, removed the machete from its sheath and swung it as Miss Connolly, missing her by a few inches.

Kelly repeatedly swung the machete towards her and shouted “you are dead”, “you are getting it” and “I will chop you up.”

Mr Brown intervened and Miss Connolly ran to the car but Kelly chased her still brandishing the weapon and, according to Miss Pope, said the blade narrowly missed her.

She locked herself in the car but he swung the machete at her, damaging the vehicle and smashing the windows.

Miss Pope said the victim was frightened and if he had hit her she would have been killed.

Arrested and interviewed, he said he was drunk, had lost his temper, armed himself with the machete and said he intended to frighten but not to hurt anyone.

Barrister Matthew Curtis, defending, said his client had expressed remorse, he had “gone too far” and felt terrible and stupid.

The family were all going through a very tough time in view of his partner’s seriousness illness.

While he had previous convictions for 33 offences, many of them were old and he was a man who had been able to turn his life around in many ways.

Mr Curtis handed in a medical report and said Kelly’s presence was required by his partner to alleviate her distress and elevate her spirits during her illness.

“He knows his offending warrants a custodial sentence,” said Mr Curtis.

“Ordinarily he would expect to serve that immediately but I ask the court to exercise mercy in these circumstances and suspend the inevitable sentence.”

Judge Niclas Parry said it had been a terrifying incident when people had been put in genuine fear.

“It is almost beyond comprehension that you would charge into the street, out of control, brandishing and swinging that quite lethal weapon, which you took out of its sheath,” he said.

It was a sign of his rage that when Miss Connolly got away he set about attacking the car with the machete.

But mercifully there were no injuries and Kelly had his own health issues, the judge said.

He added: “Above all, I bear in mind the tragic circumstances of your partner.”

An earlier charge of inflicting grievous bodily harm, which he denied, was dropped at an earlier stage.