A DRUG-ADDLED intruder burst into a house claiming he was being chased by an imaginary car full of men with guns.
The occupant tried to help “frantic and out of breath” Jamie Bywater by calling the police, Teesside Crown Court heard.
Bywater grabbed a knife from her kitchen, saying he needed it for protection, and ended up cutting her when she tried to calm him down.
The 26-year-old sobbed yesterday as he was jailed for ten months after a judge heard he has a history of violence and weapons offences.
Bywater’s lawyer, Julian Gaskin, revealed that he was sectioned with drug-induced psychosis following the drama last November.
But Judge Howard Crowson said: “This offence happened because of his voluntary intake of drugs, not a mental illness.”
Mr Gaskin told the court that Bywater - who became a father last week - was terrified of going to prison.
He said: “He does express remorse and wishes to apologise to those involved in this. It is a rather unusual incident to say the least.
“The victim was not targeted. It was a situation born out of the troubles and difficulties Mr Bywater was in at that time. He was sectioned a number of days later.
“He didn’t go looking for trouble. He picked up the knife inside the property in these odd circumstances.
“He is genuinely and fearful of custody. He has been to custody before, and doesn’t wish to go back.”
After his arrest, Bywater told police he had been drinking and taking zoplicone sleeping tablets before the incident.
He claimed to owe drug dealers thousands of pounds, saw a vehicle and believed they were in it and looking for him.
He said he hopped over gardens feeling paranoid, and felt the same when he got into the house, so picked up the knife.
Bywater told police he was trying to flee, and did not intent to hurt the occupant.
Prosecutor Emma Atkinson said the woman was sitting with her sister-in-law in the kitchen when Bywater burst in asking for help.
She described him as frantic, looking scared and out of breath, and could tell he was under the influence of something.
In a statement, she told how she suffers from agoraphobia and the only place she felt safe was at home - described as “my own little sanctuary”.
She said: “I’m shocked and upset. I was trying to help him, thinking he was in trouble.”
The woman suffered a cut between the thumb and forefinger, and needed three stitches.
Bywater, of Charlotte Street, Redcar, admitted actual bodily harm and possessing an offensive weapon.