A DISTRESSED man “ran amok” and terrified neighbours by brandishing a large knife and making chilling threats to kill.

James Anthony Fargher, 30, sparked fear on residential Clifford Close in Penrith after becoming distressed while staying at his mother’s flat.

Downstairs neighbour Rebecca Watkins heard shouts from Fargher, of The Sands, Appleby, and property smashing sounds at around 5-30pm on August 7.

He leaned out of a window and made threats to kill, prompting fearful Miss Watkins to lock her door.

Fargher emerged, using a piece of wood to badly damage her BMW before taking hold of a large kitchen knife. “That was seen by another neighbour, who shouted warnings to others that he was armed, but took a photograph of the defendant as he walked past the property,” prosecutor Adam Lodge told Carlisle Crown Court. “The defendant was shouting: ‘I will kill you all’.”

Fargher walked off as police sirens were heard. The blade was recovered and he was “clearly distressed on arrest”.

Mr Lodge said of an impact statement provided by Miss Watkins: “She describes this as a terrifying incident in which she believed she was in serious danger.”

Fargher admitted affray, damaging property and illegal knife possession.

The court heard two psychiatrists had concluded he was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia.

Kim Whittlestone, defending, said Fargher had a “supportive family” and had been in custody since the incident.

“He wants to make it very clear whilst he accepts it was a cry for help, he never had any intent to harm any members of the public,” she stated. “It was aimed at property. He apologises for his actions that day and any distress caused to neighbours.”

Recorder Timothy Hannam QC suspended a 12-month prison term for two years. Fargher must complete a mental health treatment requirement and rehabilitation.

Observing that Fargher had “run amok” while perceiving he wasn’t getting the support he needed, Recorder Hannam said: “Your behaviour that day must have been terrifying to all those who saw it.”