A FATHER of three picked up a kitchen knife and threatened to kill his childhood sweetheart when she started seeing another man.
At Gloucester Crown Court this week Judge Jamie Tabor, QC, said although there was no excuse to pick up a knife – and such offences invariably warranted prison – it must have been “upsetting’ when his wife told him not to return home” just before Christmas.
“The defendant is still paying the mortgage while his former wife’s boyfriend has moved in – that’s rubbing salt in the wound,” said the judge.
Steven Tripp, 42, now of Tormarton Road, Acton Turville, near Badminton, pleaded guilty to affray at the family home in Bath Road, Stroud, on December 21, 2013.
Prosecutor Julian Kesner said: “On the day in question Charlotte Tripp went to a works Christmas party and returned home with her cousin and a friend in the early hours of the morning.
“At 2.20am they heard shouting and screaming at the front door and someone kicking the door.
“The defendant said all he wanted to do was talk, and so they opened the door, but he then barged inside and started shouting ‘where is he?’
“He went into the kitchen and came back out with a large, silver-coloured knife and went upstairs, still shouting ‘where is he?’
“He came back downstairs and waved the knife about, telling his wife that he was going to kill her.
“But then the defendant had second thoughts and threw the knife away and left the house.
“He was subsequently arrested after handing himself in and made a full and frank confession.”
Defending, Sarah Jenkins said her client is a “well thought of” stonemason.
She added: “She was his lifelong childhood partner and he lost his temper but he stopped it himself.
“He suffered a moment of madness after the breakdown of a long relationship.”
Judge Tabor said: “All of a sudden your world fell apart and this must have been very, very upsetting for you.
“But there is never any excuse for picking up a knife.
“Before you know it you could be looking down at a bleeding body or a dead body.
“Knives are absolutely deadly.”
The judge deferred sentence for six months.
He told Tripp: “If you remain trouble-free, maintain your employment and pay £750 prosecution costs you will receive a suspended sentence.
“But if you do not comply with those conditions then you will go to prison.”