A COUNCIL worker took a knife to his ex-wife's home in the hope that her new partner would use it to kill him.

John Chase "wanted to die" after the breakdown of his marriage, but couldn't take his own life because of his Buddhist beliefs.

Instead, the 42-year-old took a Stanley knife to his ex-partner's home in the hope her new partner would stab him to death.

But the incident was stopped by police who were called after Chase kicked at his ex-partner's door.

Now Chase, who works as a warehouse operative at New Forest District Council, has been given a community order after pleading guilty to one count of possession of a knife.

Southampton Crown Court heard how officers were called to the address in Totton at around 3am on October 21 after Chase kicked at his partner's door.

The woman activated a panic alarm connected to the police, who attended the address.

Prosecutor Victoria Hill said that when police arrived, Chase was leaning against a lamppost smoking.

She said: "Officers asked him (Chase) if he had anything on him that might harm them, specifically a knife.

"He surrendered a Stanley knife. Officers asked what he was doing with the knife on him and he said it was for his ex-wife's partner to kill him with."

Mitigating, Khalid Misourri said his client, who had no previous convictions, had turned to drink after the breakdown of his relationship.

He said: "His mental health was affected seriously and he is now on anti-depression medication and doing better.

"At the time he felt like he wanted to die but it was against his Buddhist beliefs.

"It was an irrational and very foolish thing to do."

He added that Chase had led a productive life, worked for New Forest District Council as a warehouse operative and had been a community first responder for the ambulance service for more than 20 years.

In sentencing, Judge Gary Burrell QC said: "You have come very close to going to prison today, however you are a man of good character and that you were not in a good state at the time.

"This was out of character for you."

Chase, of High Street, Totton, was sentenced to a 12 month community order, which includes 20 days of rehabilitation activity requirement.

He was also ordered to pay court costs of £340.