A WORKINGTON man who was innocently approached by a dog in a park became so angry he followed its owner home and threatened him with a cricket bat.

Wayne Cullen, 39, who blamed his aggressive behaviour on alcohol use, subjected the man and his friend to verbal abuse and aggression after encountering them in the town’s Vulcan Park as they walked their dogs, Carlisle Crown Court heard.

The defendant, of Bolton Street, Workington, pleaded guilty to three offences: a common assault on Michael Bowman, disorderly behaviour, and threatening a person with an offensive weapon.

Prosecutor Alaric Walmsley said that the two men were walking their dogs in the park at 1.15pm on September 16 last year when one of their dogs approached Cullen, who was walking his dog.

Annoyed, Cullen walked up to the two men and told them to control the dog and keep it on a lead.

The men tried to walk away - but Cullen became abusive, threatening to smash their faces in and yelling: “I know where you live.”

Soon after he arrived at the men’s home with a cricket bat. “The defendant tried to attack Mr Bowman,” said Mr Walmsley.

After the attack, the victim said he no longer felt safe in his home. Sean Harkin, for Cullen, said he was now addressing his offending, which he put down to alcohol.

Recorder Neville Biddle said that for reasons best known to himself, Cullen took exception to the men's dogs, and this set off "bizarre and frightening events."

The Recorder said: "You threatened them and threatened their dogs and followed them home, threatening them with a cricket bat, causing extreme concern and fear for both of them."

He imposed six months jail suspended for two years. Cullen must complete 20 rehabilitation activity days and a thinking skills course. The recorder said Cullen should count himself lucky not to be facing immediate jail.