A MAN who feared he would die at the hands of his partner’s ex has said of his ordeal: ‘I was petrified.’
Armed police who stormed victim Rick Meade’s then home found attacker Brien ‘Bill’ Mullins crouched near the back door with a knife.
He was metres away from Mr Meade, who he had repeatedly threatened to kill after attacking him.
Mullins, 48, admitted assault, making threats to kill, possessing a bladed article and putting a person in fear of violence by harassment.
But he was spared a prison term and given a two-year suspended sentence.
Mr Meade, 48, said: ‘It’s absolutely absurd. I don’t think I’ve been that frightened in all my life.
‘He should have got three years.’
Southampton Crown Court heard that on the night of the attack, Mullins turned up at the home Mr Meade shared with Jane Cole with alcohol and said they would have drinks together.
He forced his way into the Moorland Road house in Portsmouth after the couple said no.
Mullins, who had split with Ms Cole two months earlier, headbutted Mr Meade, punched him and smashed his head against the hall wall.
Mr Meade and Ms Cole eventually managed to bundle Mullins out of the door with the alcohol and called the police.
More than three hours later, after making police statements, they returned home and found Mullins had left an answerphone message saying he would kill Mr Meade.
Part of the message said: ‘If you don’t call me your boyfriend will be dead. I’ve got nothing to lose. I’m in a tiny little room.
‘I’m going to kill him, simple as that.
‘I will kill him, if not tonight then tomorrow.’
Mullins had sent text messages to Ms Cole while she was at the police station.
A short while later they heard Mullins at the door, banging and yelling to be let in.
Mr Meade dialled 999, but then all went quiet until Ms Cole heard Mullins cough in the back garden.
Mullins had tricked a next-door neighbour into letting him into his back garden so he could get there.
Mr Meade said: ‘He was sitting in the garden with a knife.
‘The back door was open – he would’ve heard everything that was going on.’
Ms Cole managed to lock the back door, but there is a large dog flap in it.
Mr Meade ran to the front bedroom window, still on the phone to the police.
Then seven officers – three of whom were armed – arrived and found Mullins, who now lives in Anglesea, north Wales.
The court heard that he is remorseful and that the alcohol he had drunk combined with the fact he had stopped taking medication for depression and anxiety were factors in his behaviour on March 28.
Mullins, who has no previous convictions and is a former guardsman in the Household Cavalry, was also told to do 250 hours of unpaid work and put under supervision for a year at Southampton Crown Court.
He must pay £1,000 compensation and an £100 victim surcharge. Mullins was given a four-month curfew and a restraining order.