A decorator brandished a knife and threatened to slit the throat of another motorist during a road-rage incident.
Steven Wells, 31, of Patterdale, Brownsover, Rugby, had pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to charges of common assault and possessing a bladed article.
Wells received a nine-month prison sentence suspended for two years. He was also ordered to do 200 hours of unpaid work and to take part in an anger management course.
Prosecutor Stuart Clarkson said that in July last year a man was driving along Manor Road, Rugby, when Wells, who had been driving erratically after dropping off a woman at the railway station, ran into the back of his BMW.
Wells went over to the BMW where, holding a Stanley-type knife, he demanded to know why the other man had stopped - and threatened to slash his throat if he did not move his car.
Giving evidence, the other driver said: “He was quite aggressive and very imposing because he came straight to the driver’s side and would not let me open my door.
“The first thing he said was ‘Move your f***ing car.’ I said I needed to come out to look at my car because he had crashed into it. He said to me ‘If you don’t move your car I’m going to slash your f***ing throat.’
The man lifted his hands and apologised and said he would move his car, and drove round the corner.
Kate Plummer, defending, asked if it was possible he was mistaken, but he replied: “No, it was clear what he said. My attention would not have gone to his hand if he had not said what he said.”
Wells told the court he is a self-employed painter and decorator and the knife, which he described as a wallpaper knife with a retractable snap-off blade, was among a number of work tools in the front of his car.
He claimed the knife’s blade was retracted and he denied threatening the man, adding: “I just said ‘move your f***ing car.’”
But the judge rejected Wells’s version of events.
Asked by the judge why he had taken it when he got out of his car, Wells said he was “in a rage” after having a massive argument with the woman he had taken to the station. Miss Plummer said it was clear Wells had “severe anger issues”. She added that, at the time of the incidedent, his ex-partner was refusing to let him see their four children, and he had driven off in a rage after a heated argument with the woman he had taken to the station.
Sentencing Wells, who had previous convictions for assault, Judge Coates told him: “It’s because you didn’t go out that day with the knife with the intention of using it as a weapon that I am not going to send you to prison today.”