A MAN threatened to kill his neighbour’s children while one of them clung to their father in fear.

Ryan Hope was sentenced today at Bolton Crown Court for possession of an offensive weapon over the incident.

The court heard how Hope went to the home of Jack Entwistle and Victoria Kilroy, in Farnworth, armed with a hammer and told Mr Entwistle he would kill his family and his children.

Peter Gilmour, prosecuting, told the court how Hope, aged 30, of Rydal Grove in Farnworth, received help from Mr Entwistle, who would drive him to work and they also lived across the street from each other.

On January 1, 2016, Hope called Mr Entwistle, who has two children, aged one and three at the time, asking for a lift for a woman who was at his house, and Mr Entwistle said he was busy and to call again later.

Mr Entwistle then did not hear anything until later that day when he started getting threatening messages from Hope, telling him not to promise to do something he was not going to.

He then started mentioning £30 he thought he was owed by Mr Entwistle.

The following day, Hope went to the house and asked to sort it out and was told by Mr Entwistle there was nothing to sort out, so he began banging on the window.

He left and came back with a hammer and began tapping it on the window and then threatened Mr Entwistle and his young family while his three-year-old child clung to him.

Speaking about how the incident impacted on Mr Entwistle, Mr Gilmour said: “He is afraid to go to work and leave his family vulnerable in the house.”

Huw Edwards, mitigating, said that Hope had an alcohol problem and that he had been drinking all day prior to going to the address with the hammer.

He added that following this incident Hope had started to address his problem.

Hope previously stood trial for the offence and on the date of his retrial last month pleaded guilty.

Hope was sentenced to 11 months in prison, suspended for two years, and also ordered to carry out 15 days of a rehabilitation program as well as 150 hours of unpaid work.

A restraining order was put in place.

He must also pay £500 of prosecution costs and a £100 victim surcharge.