Desperate dad held knife to man's throat in row over child access court is told

A court heard how a man held a knife to his father-in-law's throat after driving to his home drunk.
A court heard how a man held a knife to his father-in-law's throat after driving to his home drunk.
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An "emotional alcoholic" held a knife to a man's throat- making him fear for his life - after driving drunk to the victim's home in a dispute over seeing his children.

Desperate dad- of-three Lee Mulligan (33) had a "moment of madness," when he grabbed the eight inch blade in the kitchen of Colin Wilde's caravan, pushed him onto the settee and told him: " That's how easy it is, pal," a court was told.

Police arrived at the trouble in Roughlee and arrested Mulligan, who said to Mr Wilde's wife, Debbie:" You are not going through with this, are you?"

Burnley magistrates were told how Mulligan, who until recently drank a litre of whisky a day, had not been allowed to see his children.

He was very upset and had " lost the plot," when he went to the caravan to discuss child contact, rowed with the Wildes, the parents of his former partner, and got angry.

Mulligan, who has shares in an internet advertising company, was three times the drink-drive limit. He blew 104 microgrammes of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath at the police station. The legal limit is 35.

Miss Catherine Allan, prosecuting, said the victim wanted a restraining order to be made. She added:" He felt the defendant was going to use the knife on him.

Mr Dylan Bradshaw, defending, told the court Mulligan bitterly regretted what he had done. Nobody got hurt.

Mr Bradshaw said:" He is attempting to address his demons, which are considerable.

"He has no previous convictions, so it is even more worrying that he would choose to start a criminal career in such a dramatic fashion."

Mr Bradshaw said:" He was desperate and wasn't thinking clearly and a desperate man often does desperate things."

The solicitor added:"He is very remorseful and very apologetic to the Wildes, who have been trying to assist him."

A probation officer, who interviewed the defendant, said Mulligan described himself as an emotional alcoholic.

He had had about a quarter of a bottle of whisky that day. He had been very upset, he and Mr WIlde argued and Mulligan picked up a knife as he walked out through the kitchen.

The officer continued:" He was adamant he didn't want to hurt anybody. He did want to frighten Mr Wilde. It was a false threat, which he describes as a moment of madness. He wishes more than anything that he didn't go to the caravan that day."

She added:" His actions on the day of the offences have been quite a shock to him."

Sentencing, Bench chairman Mr Graham Jagger told the defendant there had been a serious impact on the victim. He added :" It was very much on the cusp of a custodial sentence."

Mulligan, of Burwains Avenue, Foulridge, admitted common assault and driving with excess alcohol on Pasture Lane, Roughlee, on Thursday, November 15th.

He received a two -year community order, with a 50-day rehabilitation activity requirement and must pay £300 compensation to Mr Wilde, £85 costs and an £85 victim surcharge.

The defendant was banned for two years and was given a two -year restraining order, to keep him away from Mr Wilde.