A MAN armed himself with a kitchen knife to threaten a neighbour after a family argument spiralled out of control.

Thomas Sallows became angry when his mother refused to give him and a friend a lift from Brockenhurst to New Milton, a court heard.

Prosecution barrister, Ed Warren, told how the 22-year-old went outside into the garden and kicked the front gate at the home in Brookley Road.

A man then came over to check if things were ok, he added.

Following a verbal exchange, Sallows went back into the house and grabbed a kitchen knife which he put in his pocket.

Mr Warren said that the defendant intended to scare the man with the blade.

During an interview, Sallows claimed a “random neighbour came to break my legs”.

He accepted having a knife in his pocket, and that he had consumed alcohol and cocaine.

Mr Warren told how Sallows, formerly of Brookley Road, and his friend had been out drinking

The court heard that he has a diagnosis for Aspergers which causes him to misread situations.

Following the incident on August 15 last year, Sallows appeared at Southampton Crown Court and pleaded guilty to a public order offence.

In defence, it was argued he had been using drugs to self-medicate but had made life changes and is now looking at becoming a chef.

Court Recorder David Chidgey gave him an 18-month conditional discharge.