A MAN who made a chilling threat to harm a Carlisle restaurant manager while in possession of a knife has been given a suspended jail term.

Craig Anthony Little, 34, was seen by an employee in the city's Pizza Hut, off London Road, with a locking knife and a set of bolt-cutters on the table next to him.

After the manager was informed, Little was heard to say that he would "shank her on the way out".

Prosecutor Charlotte Rimmer told Carlisle Crown Court: "She was understandably concerned for her staff and her customers."

Little, of Melbourne Road, Carlisle, admitted illegal public possession of a knife in Pizza Hut on December 1, and also the theft of cigarettes from a city centre newsagent's on November 13.

These crimes - and other recent offending - were said to be linked to his mental health difficulties.

After reading specialist background information and hearing mitigation, Judge James Adkin suspended a 15-month prison term for two years. Little must complete a mental health treatment requirement and rehabilitation.

"This is an opportunity for you to address the mental health problems that have plagued you for some time, and which are treatable," Judge Adkin told him.

"But it is a chance that you need to commit to."