A KNIFEMAN terrorised a four-year-old while he threatened the girl's grandfather as the pair of them sat in his car.

Robert Boyle vowed to kill the driver when he was parked outside of his home in Stockton in April, a court heard.

The drama was said to have been the culmination of long-standing bad-feeling between the two men over a woman.

Boyle - a former fishing boat skipper - screamed at his foe: "I'll kill you, you f***ing bastard. I'll f***ing stab you."

The terrified motorist told drunken Boyle that the youngster was in the car, but he replied: "I don't give a f***."

Teesside Crown Court heard yesterday that girl climbed into the passenger seat footwell and started screaming.

The noise alerted the driver's two sons, who rushed to the scene and helped to disarm the 63-year-old knifeman.

Alex Bousfield, mitigating, said the family had gone to Boyle's home in Princess Avenue, looking for trouble.

"He clearly reacted badly," said Mr Bousfield. "There have been difficulties between the men in the past.

"Mr Boyle has not troubled the courts for a long time. The court can be confident he will not do anything like this again."

Boyle admitted possessing a blade and affray, and was given a six-month suspended prison sentence.

Judge Simon Bourne-Arton, QC, told him: "You were a fishing boat skipper and a skilled man with a knife.

"A knife in the possession of anyone out in the street is a danger. A knife in the hands of a drunken man is a considerable danger."

The judge added: "You went out without giving any thought whatsoever to the consequences of your actions.

"You went out completely indifferent to the feelings of others, who had nothing to of with your argument.

"Worse still, you behaved in a drunken, violent way in the presence of a four-year-old girl in that car."