A knife-wielding neighbour has been jailed after he was filmed on a doorbell camera brandishing two weapons in the communal hallway of a block of flats.

Christopher O’Neill was angry because he thought a friend of his had been attacked by someone who then took refuge inside a flat at Sunset House in Seaton.

He armed himself with two kitchen knives and was filmed as he ranted and raved, shouted threats, and hammered on the door of the flat with his fists.

The terrified resident called the police, who traced O’Neill to his flat nearby. He was drunk and high on cannabis, having drunk nine pints of beer and had a joint. He was ashamed and apologetic when he was interviewed the next day.

O’Neill, aged 52, of Wessiters, Seaton, admitted two counts of threatening a person with a knife and was jailed for eight months by Recorder Mrs Chloe Pawson-Pounds at Exeter Crown Court.

She told him she had no option other than to impose a prison sentence because it is mandatory under Britain’s strict anti-knife crime laws.

She said: “You were seen bearing a knife in each hand, shouting and screaming and kicking and punching the door while holding the knives. It was very aggressive behaviour indeed.

“When you were interviewed by the police you said, by your own assessment, that the occupants of the flat would have been ‘scared witless’. An aggravating feature of the offence is that you were under the influence of a sizeable amount of alcohol and some drugs.”

Mr Michael Green, prosecuting, said the incident started on the evening of August 1 last year when there was an altercation at the flats and a friend of O’Neill turned up at his house bleeding from a head injury.

He said O’Neill went back to the scene armed with two knives and was recorded on doorbell camera brandishing them aggressively in the hallway outside the flat. He played footage which showed him getting so close to the door that his face became distorted on the camera image.

Mr Stephen Nunn, defending, said O’Neill has not been in trouble for some years and has no history of knife crime. He was extremely remorseful from the outset and has visited the victim to apologise.