A man who was filmed wielding a machete at a group of children while screaming 'who wants to die' has managed to avoid a spell in prison by 'the skin of his teeth'.

At Preston Crown Court on Friday, Judge Philip Parry told Rohan Diraham-Ruzza he would suspend his custodial sentence after he pleaded guilty at a lower court to a section four offence of threatening behaviour and one offence of brandishing a bladed article in a public place.

The court heard that on July 29, Diraham-Ruzza, of Kings Avenue, Rawtenstall, had been experiencing anti-social behaviour issues involving a group of children aged between six and 16-years-old.

Prosecuting, David Toal told the court: "Police received a call which described how a male, the defendant, had been seen brandishing a machete in the street in the presence of children and young people.

"A 15-year-old girl heard the defendant shout 'who wants to die'; she was scared but managed to film the incident on her mobile phone.

"When the police arrived they found a group of young people ranging from ages six to 16, in the street.

"Officers were directed to the defendant's address where the machete was seized.

"He was then taken to Burnley police station where he admitted going into the street with a machete but said the kids had been banging on his windows and 'getting cocky' with him."

Mitigating in his defence, Joe Rawlings read a short reference from his employer, Tina Powell, at the Bury Black Pudding Company, where he has worked for several years.

She referred to Diraham-Ruzza, 48, as a 'reliable worker' who was 'very good with the public' and said she had never had any complaints about him.

Judge Parry said: "You were in possession of a bladed article - a terrifying bladed article - I have seen it, and I saw you were carrying it menacingly.

"You seem to have been pushed to your limits - children had cut across your garden and kicked balls at your house, but it doesn't give you the right to terrify them.

"A 15-year-old girl was terrified - I would've been terrified if I had seen this.

"It's not just the fact you were out on the street with it, it's because you were threatening people saying 'who wants to die'.

"To do this and approach a group of children is unforgivable.

"You shouldn't have something like this - you claimed it was for gardening purposes but that is nonsense - no-one should have items like this.

"The courts say time and time again that people who go out onto the street with items like this need to go to prison.

"However you have strong personal mitigation and it is by the skin of your teeth that you have managed to avoid a custodial sentence."

Diraham-Ruzza was sentenced to eight months in prison suspended for 12 months, ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work, and was made subject to an electronic curfew for two months.