A MAN who armed himself with a large knife and threatened his family, including his cancer stricken dad, has been spared jail.

Stuart Miller's sister called the police to their home after the 27-year-old grabbed the 7ins blade during the incident.

After officers had subdued and arrested him he became abusive, kicking out at one and threatening them.

Leanne Woodman, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court on Monday that police were called to the family home in Unity Street, Chippenham, on the evening of September 24.

In the 999 call his sister said he was threatening her and their parents with a knife and when officers arrived at the door they were greeted by him brandishing the weapon.

"Both officers observed he was holding a large kitchen knife above his head. It was about 7ins long," she said.

"Both of the officers formed the opinion that the defendant was ready to strike with the knife."

She said one heard him say 'I am going to stab you,' and fearing he would attack them used his parva spray to his face.

Miller, of Oaklands, Chippenham, then went upstairs and when he was persuaded to come down he was arrested, but lashed out at the officers as they detained him, kicking one.

During the journey to Melksham police station Miller threatened to 'stab their wives' and 'rape their children'.

When he was questioned he said he had been taking prescribed medication and could recall nothing of the incident, saying he was sorry for what he had done especially as his father was seriously ill with cancer.

Miller, pleaded guilty to affray and assaulting a police officer.

The court heard he had previous convictions for drunk and disorderly and assaulting a police constable.

Adam Griffiths, defending, said that his client's family had not made statements of complaint against him and were supportive of him.

He said that he has having mental health issues, learning difficulties and had suicidal thoughts.

Following his arrest he said he was remanded in custody for about six weeks and was determined not to return to prison.

Passing sentence Recorder Ed Burgess QC said: "You appeared at that front door of the house with a knife a large knife.

"You are described as being angry: shouting, screaming, putting both the officer who were there in fear for their safety, indeed in fear for their lives.

"You were extremely threatening in your behaviour towards the police on the way to custody, making apparent threats to them, their wives and their families."

He was given a six month jail term suspended for 18 months with 20 days of rehabilitation activity requirement and 150 hours of unpaid work.