A WHITEHAVEN man became threatening when accused of mistreating his sister’s dogs, brandishing a knife and issuing death threats to a woman who challenged him, and her partner. 

Kevin Sinton, 25, also manhandled the woman, forcing her out of his flat before producing a seven-inch long blade from his waistband and telling the woman’s partner he would stab him, Carlisle Crown Court heard.

The defendant, of Queen Street, Whitehaven, admitted a common assault on the woman and making threats with a knife that made the victims fear immediate violence.

Brendan Burke, prosecuting, outlined the facts. He said the assault victim had been told by her mother that the defendant was looking after his sister’s dogs but was losing patience with one of them - so much so he had kicked and punched it.

He also threatened to kill that animal by “hanging” it, it was alleged. As a result of this information, the woman went with her partner to Sinton’s Queen Street flat in Whitehaven on January 7 to collect the dogs.

“Upon seeing him, she began to remonstrate with him about his mistreatment of the dogs, telling him that she found it disgusting,” said Mr Burke.

“He reacted to that angrily, squaring up physically towards her, as if about to hit her. He shouted at her, intimidating her. She anticipated an attack and told him there was no point because she wasn’t alone; her partner was outside.”

Reacting, Sinton said he did not care, threatening to “batter" the woman's partner.

At this point, Sinton grabbed the woman and pushed her out of the flat, towards the landing and a banister. She feared he would push her down the stairs. Once outside, she looked “terrified” and was hyperventilating, said her partner.

As she joined her partner outside, bringing the dogs with her, Sinton arrived and produced a seven-inch long knife from his waistband.

He told the woman’s partner: “If you want to fight, let’s go.” He told the man he would stab and kill him. 

Jumping backwards, the man told Sinton that if he wanted to fight, he should do it “like a man”, and not while armed with a large knife. Sinton then went back into his flat and called the woman’s mother.

Mrs Burke said: “He told her that daughter [and her partner] were going to get stabbed and that he was going to their home address to kill them. Specifically, about [the daughter], he told her mother her second born was going to be killed.

"He said: ‘I’m going to slash her.' By the time he made that call, the police were on their way.”

The defendant’s background included previous convictions for being drunk and disorderly, and two battery assaults, as well as a previous knife offence from January 2023.

In January this year Sinton was under a suspended jail sentence for that and another offence.

Marion Weir, defending, said Sinton had experienced a deterioration in his mental health and there was a difficult family background.

The dogs he was looking after belonged to his sister, but she had been incarcerated and Sinton was struggling to cope. “He'd taken on a responsibility he was not able to cope with,” said Miss Weir.

“He acknowledges that his behaviour spiralled out of control, and he acknowledges by his guilty plea that this was a time when things got on top of him.”

The barrister pointed out that the incident ended because Sinton walked away.  “He has still got much maturing to do,” added Miss Weir.

Judge Nicholas Barker told Sinton: “You were the subject of a suspended sentence order imposed in January 2023 for an offence of possessing a blade. You continued, during the course of last year, to behave in a wild and out of control way.

"There was a battery in July, and on July 31 a battery and domestic violence incident. You were spiralling out of control,” said the judge.

Judge Barker jailed Sinton for 21 months. This included the activation of the suspended jail sentences imposed for earlier offending.