A KNIFEMAN who confronted his “noisy neighbours” after becoming enraged when he saw one of them urinating from a balcony has escaped a prison sentence.

Nicholas Lampitt may have been at the “end of his tether” leading up to the showdown in Newport, the city’s crown court heard.

The 45-year-old, from Comfrey Close, armed himself with a Stanley knife when feelings were running high this May, prosecutor Bethan Evans said.

During the clash, Lampitt pushed a neighbour into a wall, causing the man to graze his elbow, and drew the blade.

Miss Evans told Judge Jeremy Jenkins that the defendant had three previous convictions for six offences, including battery and supplying cannabis.

Lampitt pleaded guilty to having a knife in a public place.

David Singh, mitigating, said there had been no further problems between his client and his neighbours following the incident.

The court was also told that the defendant cared for an elderly resident who lived nearby.

Judge Jenkins said to Lampitt: “I am not going to send you into custody.”

But he told him that it was scarcely possible to open a newspaper or switch on a television these days without coming across a story about knife crime which was now so “prevalent”.

Lampitt was told that by arming himself with the weapon he might have created a “recipe for disorder or serious harm” or even a fatal tragedy.

But the judge conceded that: “There was a considerable amount of provocation at the hands of your noisy neighbours.”

However, he told Lampitt: “You should telephone the police and not take matters into your own hands.”

Judge Jenkins added: “Perhaps you were at the end of your tether.”

A pre-sentence report assessed the defendant as being at a “low-risk of reoffending”.

Lampitt was handed a 12-month community order, a 20-day rehabilitation activity requirement and ordered to pay prosecution costs of £535 within six months.