'Life has been hell because of him': Man threatened to hit terrified toddler with a mallet during 'bizarre' incident
A man who threatened to hit a terrified toddler with a mallet has avoided jail because of his mental health issues.
Leeds Crown Court heard that Steven Scott, 31, had suffered a serious brain injury when he was a teenager that meant he often could not separate fact from fiction, and which led to his 'bizarre' behaviour on March 6 this year.
Gareth Henderson-Moore, prosecuting, said a woman was in the garden of her home in Castleford with her two-year-old son when Scott began to shout abuse at her and a workman who was at her house.
He was swinging a mallet and threatened to "smash" the youngster's head in.
The woman did not engage with him but later that day Scott made his way around the back of the property uninvited.
He was described as being drunk and aggressive and was asking for cigarettes.
Scott again made threats saying he was going to smash their heads in, and threatened to 'knife' her son.
Scott, of Toll Bar Road, Castleford, has 12 convictions for 19 offences, including possessing an offensive weapon, assaults and threatening behaviour.
A short victim impact statement was read out in which the woman said she was terrified and will no longer let her children play outside.
She said: "Life has been hell because of him".
Scott pleaded guilty to one count of affray and two counts of assault.
Austin Newman, mitigating, said that Scott had sustained a serious head injury in a road accident when he was 16, and he developed "serious neurological difficulties and mental health issues".
Mr Newman said: "He can become confused very easily and has difficulty differentiating between fact and fiction.
"While it's plainly not an excuse, it is clear to understand given those difficulties why he committed these offences.
"He seems to have formed the belief that the victims were somehow a threat to him."
Recorder Ashley Serr described the incidents as "bizarre and irrational" and added: "Your mental health can't be divorced from your offending."
Scott was given a ten-month prison sentence, suspended for two years.