A man who waved a kitchen knife around and told his girlfriend he would “have” her began to cut his own arms after she started to cry and told him she loved him.

Robert Pope had punched Charmaine Webber in the face after an argument between them over their dog.

At Truro Magistrates’ Court Pope, aged 41, of Langweath Estate, Mawgan, Helston, pleaded guilty to assaulting Ms Webber at Helston on February 16.

Penny Wilson, for the Crown Prosecution Service, said the couple had been in a relationship for two months, after they met while Pope was homeless on the streets in Camborne, and they had arranged for him to move in with her.

Pope, an alcoholic, had been drinking on the day of the offence and hit her in the head during an argument they had over their dog. She got to her feet after being knocked down and Pope was waving a kitchen knife around saying: “I am going to have you.”

She started to cry and told him “I love you,” at which point he started to use the knife to cut both his arms. Then he dropped it and left.

Pope, who told the police he had drunk a half bottle of vodka and four cans of beer during that day, which was his birthday, had hit Ms Webber in a moment of annoyance, said his solicitor Alex Blair.

After realising what he had done when he slapped her, he started to cry himself and then grabbed a kitchen knife and tried to self-harm.

Pope, who had previous convictions, was no longer welcome at Ms Webber’s address, said Ms Wilson.

He was given an eight-week prison sentence suspended for a year.