A KNIFEMAN pointed a blade at a doctor and told her he was going to kill her and her patients.

Bolton Crown Court heard how Jonathan Brownlee went into the Waters Meeting Health Centre on the morning of May 10 while Dr Margaret Talbot was seeing patients.

Andrew Mackintosh, prosecuting, told how Dr Talbot walked into the waiting area and was approached by 36-year-old Brownlee.

"He seemed to gaze at the patient she was speaking to. He walked away and sat in the waiting area. He appeared flushed and unsteady on his feet," said Mr Mackintosh, who added that the doctor knew he had drink and mental health problems.

Dr Talbot went to talk to Brownlee and invited him to go with her to a quiet area.

"As they were walking towards that area the defendant produced a knife from within a bag he was carrying," said Mr Mackintosh.

"He put the knife in front of her face saying 'I'm going to kill him [another patient]. She was alarmed for her own safety and that of the other patients waiting to be treated."

Brownlee went to sit in the quiet area and Dr Talbot alerted reception staff and police were contacted.

"Dr Talbot and a member of security staff then went back to speak to the defendant," said Mr Mackintosh.

"He was rambling and was taking about caterpillars and other things.

"She asked him what he was going to do with the knife and he said, 'I was going to kill you and the patients'."

He added that he was going to blow his own head off.

"The doctor says she was worried and scared about what might happen," said Mr Mackintosh.

Brownlee, of Park Road, Little Lever, was arrested and a kitchen knife, with a 20cm blade, was recovered from his bag.

At the police station he told officers he had been drinking a lot of Jack Daniels and had watched a programme about knife crime on television but did not intend to use the knife he took to the health centre.

Brownlee has now been banned from the surgery.

He pleaded guilty to assaulting an emergency worker and possessing a knife.

Kimberley Morton, defending Brownlee, said: "He wishes me to express his very genuine remorse.

"Dr Talbot is someone who has previously always helped him."

She added that he feels has sought help for his drinking and mental health problems but has been let down by services.

Mrs Morton said Brownlee maintains that would have harmed himself rather than other people and the last two months he has spent in prison on remand has been frightening experience for him.

Judge Graeme Smith sentenced Brownlee to 12 months in prison suspended for 18 months and ordered that he be electronically tagged and subject to a 9pm to 7am curfew for three months.

He was also told he must participate in an alcohol treatment programme for nine months and 25 days of rehabilitation activities.

Judge Smith told Brownlee his behaviour had been dangerous but accepted he was now motivated to address his problems.