A GWENT barber told of how he could have been killed after a “grossly psychotic” man high on drink and drugs attacked him with a hammer.

Neil Evans tried to hit Owain Gulliford with the weapon at his Fleur de Lys business in front of horrified customers, Cardiff Crown Court heard.

Prosecutor Oliver Harris said it was fortunate that he managed to disarm the defendant who only caused damage to a wall before fleeing.

The court heard that Evans suffers with his mental health and is a paranoid schizophrenic.

Judge Jeremy Jenkins was told that 45-year-old defendant had been acting “bizarrely” at the barber shop before and taking a chair to sit outside,

He later confronted Mr Gulliford with hammer and challenged him: “You are going to laugh at me?”

The defendant admitted affray at Fleur-de-Lys’ High Street which was committed on September 1, 2017.

Mr Harris read out a victim impact statement from Mr Gulliford in which he said: “I feel shocked. I have a young family.

“I feel very upset by the whole thing. I could have lost my life.”

Mr Harris said Evans had seven previous convictions for 13 offences, including public order, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and criminal damage in an incident which included the smashing of windows and dumbbells being thrown out of them.

Andrew Taylor, mitigating, questioned why it had taken the Crown Prosecution Service 15 months to bring the case to its conclusion.

His barrister admitted this had been an “appalling incident” and that his client should not have taken a “cocktail” of drink and illegal drugs.

He said Evans had admitted to the full facts of the case and had “gradually come away from alcohol”.

Judge Jenkins told the defendant: “This happened in front of young children who must have been terrified at what was happening.”

Evans, of Woodfield Terrace, Tir-y-Berth, near Fleur de Lys, was jailed for eight months, suspended for 18 months.

He was also ordered to complete an 18-month community order, a 60-day rehabilitation activity requirement and pay a victim surcharge.