A MAN who threatened to kill his father and ex-partner has been jailed for two years.

Darren Lewis was already serving a suspended prison for arson when he made the threats during a meeting with Peter Ward, a member of Bolton's drug and alcohol service. Mr Ward was so concerned that the conversation was reported to police and Lewis was arrested.

Daniel Harman, prosecuting, told the court that Mr Ward had met Lewis on the afternoon of May 29. "The defendant stated that he had nothing to live for and that he would kill his ex-partner and then kill himself," said Mr Harman.

"Darren kept referring to stabbing when talking about his ex-partner and mentioned scissors.

"He then mentioned about killing his father. He blamed him. He said he was going to batter him over the head."

Mr Ward told police: "He did not tell me when he would do this. He said in the past he had worn a mask with the intention to harm his father but a friend had tipped his father off."

The Honorary Recorder of Bolton, Judge Martin Walsh, was told how, at the time, Lewis, aged 47, was subject to a suspended prison sentence for setting fire to house curtains while his former partner and two children were in the property.

He put out the flames himself a few seconds later by throwing a glass of water at them.

Lewis, of Thomas Drive, Deane, pleaded guilty to making threats to kill.

Rosalind Emsley-Smith, defending, stated that the threats were a "desperate attempt" to get help for mental health problems.

She described Lewis' life as a "tragedy".

"He had dysfunction hard-wired in from a very early age in the way he was parented and it has been a frustration for Mr Lewis from that day to this that he has never really been given the building blocks to develop appropriate coping strategies," she said.

Judge Walsh sentenced Lewis to two years in prison — six months for the threats and 18 months of the suspended sentence activated.

He told Lewis: "You made quite detailed and quite chilling threats to kill your father and your former partner. I do accept that there was not an intention to carry out the acts you threatened but they certainly caused concern and alarm."