A MAN who held police at bay with a kitchen knife has been given a suspended prison sentence.

David Maher, 38, of Brunswick Road, Buckley, admitted affray and received a 26-week prison sentence, suspended for two years. He was also ordered to carry out 150 hours unpaid work and pay £340 costs.

Sandra Subacchi, prosecuting at Mold Crown Court, said at 8pm on March 8 Caroline Jones was walking through Buckley when she came across Maher, who used to share a flat with her nephew. He was distressed, he said he did not want to go home on his own and claimed he had been threatened by some bouncers.

She was concerned for his well-being, took him back to her home and she and her partner allowed him to stay the night. He was not making a lot of sense but appeared to calm down.

However, she was woken at 2.15am by the sound of shouting and screaming.

She saw Maher at the bottom of the stairs shouting “I am going to kill you” while holding a bread knife with a seven-inch blade.

She was extremely scared, realised that there were police officers at the address and it turned out Maher had called them because he said he had been threatened and drugged.

Police found he appeared paranoid, he repeatedly said he was being followed, he appeared under the influence of something, and was becoming increasingly agitated.

There was a struggle on his arrest when he tried to bite an officer.

Interviewed, he said his drink must have been spiked with something which made him feel paranoid.

He had woken up, saw reflections in the window, feared he was being followed, and thought the police who arrived were gangsters.

Kim Halsall, defending, said Maher was ashamed and full of remorse for his frightening conduct.

The only explanation for his otherwise inexplicable behaviour was that his drink had been spiked.

Maher had enrolled on a 13-week college course which he hoped would lead to employment, the court was told.