A GARDENER held a knife to his ex-partner’s throat and then threatened to kill himself when she called the police in a row over a Christmas card.

Salisbury magistrates’ court heard on Friday that Stephen Gatt, aged 33, had been staying with his ex-partner Misty Reid at her home when an argument broke out between them in the early hours of December 5.

Prosecuting, Kate Prince, said Gatt threw a laptop bag at Ms Reid during the row, before getting a knife from the kitchen.

“[Ms Reid] tried to call the police but he grabbed her from behind, holding the knife to her throat and disconnecting the call,” Ms Prince said.

Gatt let go of Ms Reid after she screamed and she was able to call police, who told her officers were on the way to her address.

Meanwhile, Gatt had gone out onto the landing where he had “the intention of taking his own life”, the court heard.

Defending, Nick Redhead said Gatt had picked up the knife “which he intended to use to harm himself” and that he had “forgotten” he was holding it when he grabbed Ms Reid.

“When she said, ‘put the knife down’ he did,” Mr Redhead added.

“After realising he had behaved in a pretty poor way, he went out onto the landing, I think with the intention of taking his own life.”

A probation officer told the court that Gatt, previously of Chatham Close, Salisbury, but now homeless, had admitted his offending, including breaking his bail conditions by visiting Ms Reid’s home after the incident.

“He admits he has anger problems, suffers from depression and a lack of control,” he said, adding that Gatt described himself as having “a short fuse”.

Gatt told the officer he panicked on the night in question and intended to kill himself.

He said Gatt self-harmed regularly and had done so since the age of 12.

The probation worker assessed Gatt as a high risk to himself and to his potential partners.

Magistrates said the offence was serious enough to warrant a community order, to last 18 months.

Gatt must complete alcohol treatment and a building better relationships programme.

He must also carry out 40 hours of unpaid work and pay £130 court costs.