A man who pointed a Stanley knife at his ex-partner and her father, causing them to fear for their lives, has narrowly escaped an immediate prison term.

Tyler Ellis, of Beacon Fields, Camborne was at Truro Crown Court for sentencing on Friday, having previous pleaded guilty before magistrates to three offences of common assault, criminal damage and possession of a blade.

The court heard that on December 2 last year the 23-year-old had been having an argument with his ex-partner over text message, about maintenance payments for their young son.

This resulted in Ellis saying "I'll see you in five minutes" and arriving at her Redruth home, where she was with her boyfriend and her father in the living room, as their child slept in the next room.

Prosecutor Mr Hall said: "She describes hearing a bang and the door flung open. The defendant stormed in. He took a couple of steps forward and pulled out a Stanley type knife, with the blade out."

He said Ellis pointed the knife towards the woman and her father with an outstretched arm.

"She thought he was going to kill her or her father," said Mr Hall.

"He was around three or four inches from her father's neck. She put her arms around her father's neck to protect him."

Ellis pushed the woman away as she pleaded "Don't hurt him", before he stood back and punched a mirror, which smashed.

At this point he went towards the door and said "I'm sorry" before leaving, later messaging to apologise again.

In police interview Ellis said he was triggered by the woman claiming he was "neglecting his son" and he took the knife in with him only because it was already in the car, where he had been fixing something.

At the time, in a victim personal statement, the woman said: "I feel overwhelmed, frightened and stressed. I don't know what he could do.

"This happened in my own home, which is supposed to be a safe place."

However, the prosecutor said that just a few days ago he had received a message from the woman via the police saying that since the incident her father had passed away and "her perspective on things has completely changed."

She had known Ellis since they were both 12 years old and she wanted him to be part of their son's life, and to talk to him as part of her grieving for her father.

The court was also told that it had been a "heat of the moment" incident for Ellis, who had at the time stopped taking his anti-depression medication due to having Covid.

He now had a baby with his new partner and full time work as a traffic management operative, with his employers writing a letter of support.

In sentencing Ellis, Recorder James Bromige said: "This must have been terrifying for everyone."

He acknowledged Ellis's "remorse and empathy" but said it was only because of his stable employment, with the financial stability this offered to his son, that prevented him from going to prison immediately, due to the seriousness of the offence.

He sentenced Ellis to a total of three months in prison – reduced from four, as he believed this would have been disproportionate – suspended for 18 months.

He must also carry out 120 hours of unpaid work, and ten days of rehabilitation activities, in addition to paying a £128 surcharge to fund victim services.