AN ENGINEER threatened to “slice up” staff and customers at a Hampshire pub before returning with a 12 inch kitchen knife, a court heard.

Aaron Doyle became embroiled in an argument with bar staff at West End Brewery, before threatening to stab an employee in the face.

The 26-year-old then went to a nearby Asda, bought a 12 inch kitchen knife and returned to the bar, in West End.

Doyle continued making threats outside the pub, before ditching the knife in a bush.

Appearing at Southampton Magistrates’ Court, Doyle admitted possession of a blade and using threatening behaviour.

Sentencing him to a 16 week suspended prison sentence, District Judge Lorraine Morgan described his actions as “dangerous”.

The court heard the incident took place while Doyle was drinking in the bar.

Prosecutor Liam Hunter said: “He was arguing with one member of staff and started shouting towards staff.

“He said he was going to ‘slice people up’.

“There were threats made inside the pub and outside to people inside. It made people feel uncomfortable and concerned for their safety.”

Mr Hunter said Doyle then went into ASDA, which is next door to the pub, where CCTV showed him buying a 12 inch kitchen knife.

But the court heard that Doyle threw the blade away before going back into the pub.

Police later recovered the blade in a nearby bush.

Defending Doyle, Chris Gaiger said the trained engineer was struggling with the break-up of his relationship and subsequent depression.

He added that Doyle had been in steady employment since leaving school, having worked as an engineer for the last nine years.

Mr Gaiger described Doyle’s decision to purchase a knife as “foolish”.

Judge Morgan retorted, describing his actions as “dangerous”.

She said: “It was not foolish, it was dangerous.“He was drunk and it was dangerous.”

However, judge Morgan said she was persuaded to suspend his prison sentence as Doyle was held in “high regard” by his employees and he had maintained a clean criminal record in recent years.

Alongside a 16 week sentence, suspended for 12 months, Judge Morgan ordered Doyle to complete 100 hours of unpaid work.

Doyle, of Hickory Gardens, West End, was also fined £100 and banned from the West End Brewery for 12 months.