A MAN chased his ex-partner through her home with a kitchen knife after struggling to deal with the breakdown of their 18-year relationship, a court heard.

Andrew Malik, 45, picked up the knife and held it to his chest, before lunging forward and running after the woman, who escaped uninjured.

Teesside Crown Court heard Malik left her Middlesbrough home with the knife, but was persuaded to post it back through her letterbox by his former partner to avoid hurting himself.

Rachel Masters, prosecuting, said the couple split in May, and Malik, of no fixed address, visited her house on July 7.

She said: “Once she let him in there was an argument, he went into the kitchen and picked up a large knife.

“He put it towards his chest, then lunged towards her and followed her with the knife above his head before she convinced him to put it down.”

Robert Mochrie, mitigating, said Malik suffered from self-harm problems, but felt ready to confront issues in his life and move ont.

Judge Peter Armstrong sentenced Malik, who pleaded guilty to common assault, to four months custody, which he had already served on remand, and gave him a five-year restraining order.

He told him: “Don’t get involved in anything like this again or you will end up going back in prison for a longer period.”