A MAN threw a 10-inch knife in front of police officers after he was caught fighting with a friend.

Connor Hodge, aged 21, of Hollymount, Tolladine, Worcester, took the blade from a kitchen drawer during a house party, a court heard.

Hodge grabbed a friend by the throat when they tried to intervene to stop him from hurting himself with the knife.

Judith Kenney, defending, said: “He says he drank no less than 24 bottles [of beer]. He told me he had blacked out. He had been at the party since 6pm.

“He left the party to self-harm. His mother died four years ago at 39-years-old. She collapsed at home and was left on life support.

"He [Hodge] was doing his GCSEs at school and had to make a decision to switch off the life support machine.

"It hit him hard. He's still in this time warp of the loss of his mother.

“He said throughout his life he's had voices in his head and ever since he lost his mother they have got worse.

"He hears them all day every day. They talk to him but also tell him to do things.”

Ms Kenney said Hodge has injuries from self-harming, including cigarette burns and scars on his arm.

The solicitor added that the defendant has previously held down jobs but is currently being supported by his father.

Kerry Lovegrove, prosecuting, said police officers caught Hodge following a report of two males fighting outside the Spar shop in Cranham Drive, Worcester, at 10.45pm on Tuesday, October 31.

She added that Hodge threw the kitchen knife in front of the officers when they arrived at the scene.

Ms Lovegrove said: "He said 'take it away from me, I don't trust myself with it'. He said he was glad they took it.”

Keith Stokes-Smith, chairman of the magistrates bench, said: "If you watch the news you will be very aware that knife crime is a major problem.

"You are lucky the police arrived. We are told you picked up that knife to self-harm, we will never know if that was the case or not, which in itself was foolish.

"Having thought about it we are going to give you the benefit of the doubt."

Mr Stokes-Smith encouraged Hodge to get psychological support.

Hodge was given an 18-week prison sentence, suspended for two years, and a community order, which includes 15 rehabilitation activity requirement day and a 12-week curfew from 8pm to 8am.

The defendant, who has no previous convictions, was also ordered to pay a £115 victim surcharge.

Hodge pleaded guilty to possessing a knife in a public place and using threatening/abusive words/behaviour or disorderly behaviour likely to cause harassment alarm or distress.