A family was left terrified when a complete stranger smashed their window and burst into their home in the early hours, forcing his way upstairs where three children were sleeping.
Fuelled by cocaine, amphetamines and booze, agitated Tony Fox, 47, burst into a terraced house on New Hall Lane, Preston, on December 2, claiming he had been shot, Preston Crown Court heard.
Judge Simon Newell said: “ You’re a family man - could you imagine if that had happened to you? You have a wife and young children. Imagine some absolute nutcase comes in shouting and behaving like that. That’s what you did to that man and his family.”
The court heard resident James Kilday, who lives in the house with his partner and children had been watching TV when the window was smashed. He jumped out of his chair and opened his front door, and saw a complete stranger standing near a neighbour’s front door. Fox forced his way in.
Prosecuting, Jeremy Groutsmith said: “He was concerned about him coming into his house with his children being asleep and was thinking, unsurprisingly, about his own safety.
“The man appeared deluded, saying things like ‘Don’t let them in, they are coming after me’. By this time he had entered the house and shut the front door and tried to push living room sofa against it. Mr Kilday screamed out to his girlfriend and daughter and told them to call 999.
“The man then accused Mr Kilday of hiding ‘them’ in the house. His partner tried to calm down and get him a glass of water, and Fox said he wanted to speak to the police on the phone.
“But as they handed him the phone he hung up forced his way upstairs with the phone.
“He went into their daughter’s bedroom. They were terrified and he started throwing things around.”
Fox, of Darkinson Lane, Preston, barricaded himself in the couple’s bedroom after throwing his glass of water down the stairs.
Armed officers arrived at the scene and found blood stains on the walls.
After removing the three children from the house they tried to talk to Fox, who replied: “I’m going to burn the house down with the kids in it.”
They drew a taser but managed to restrain him against the bed.
In interview father-of-two Fox, who is married and has his own business, said he remembered “being somewhere and unable to control himself”. He thought he was being shot at and was asking for help. He told police he had an argument with partner.
Defending Richard English said: “This would have been an utterly terrifying experience, I’ve no conception of how it must have been for them and neither does Mr Fox.
“It was also terrifying for Mr Fox. The way police describe how he acted indicates someone who was not in his right mind and the hospital report where it talks about a psychotic episode is certainly right.
“His mum in law was dying in December and died on Boxing Day and this caused considerable strain.”
Fox, who admitted affray, stood still in the dock as he was sentenced to 12 months prison suspended for 18 months, with 12 months supervision. He was also handed a £1,000 fine, £200 compensation and £350 costs.