A judge has praised police officers for not using a Taser stun gun on a troubled man holding a large kitchen knife to his throat.

Drug user Lee Syms threatened to harm himself with the 8in knife when officers came to talk to him after he had smashed up his home days earlier.

Bradford Crown Court heard yesterday that four police officers managed to talk him into giving up the weapon.

Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC said he was pleased when told that Syms, who was under the influence of drink or drugs, was disarmed without the need for a Taser gun.

The judge told Syms, 25: “You have got into a spiral of self destruction.”

He sentenced him to six months’ imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, with 80 hours of unpaid work. He must also complete a probation service activity requirement.

Syms pleaded guilty to criminal damage at his home in St Andrew’s Villas, Listerhills, Bradford, on November 11 last year and to having an offensive weapon on November 23.

The court was told he did £4,254 damage to the multi-occupancy housing association property.

Syms, who said he “flipped” when the fire alarm went off.

He said he was drunk and depressed at the time.