A THUG broke into his estranged partner's house and threw a knife at her while his three hysterical children watched.

Burnley Crown Court heard how Daniel Yates, 27, also assaulted his ex-partner's aunt and threw a knife at her during the 'traumatising attack'.

Prosecuting, Hanifa Patel told the court how the victim, the three children she had with Yates, a daughter she has from a previous marriage and her aunt were at their home in Holmby Street, Burnley, when a drunken Yates arrived.

After hearing her aunt arguing with Yates, his ex told her to tell him she wasn't in. At that point her aunt rang the police.

The court heard as the victim and her children were in the front room they heard a bang. The children began screaming when they heard the smash of Yates breaking the window.

As Yates got into the house he shouted at his estranged partner's aunt; 'I told you to let me in', before pushing her backwards.

Ms Patel said Yates, standing at the bottom of the stairs with his hands covered in blood, ignored his ex as she said: "Come on Danny, the babies are here."

The court heard the children were clutching each other in fright.

Ms Patel said Yates then went to the kitchen grabbed two knives and threw one at his ex as she was stood at the front door.

Yates's ex partner said the knife didn't hit her but she couldn't remember where it landed.

While she sat back on the sofa trying to protect her children, Yates threw the other knife at her auntie, the court heard.

Ms Patel said: "The defendant picked up the knife he had just thrown and started cutting himself in the hand with it. He started to drag the knife into his forearm which started to bleed.

"The children were watching everything that was going on. They were described as being hysterical. He stabbed the sofa that two of the daughters were sitting on. One of the daughter's tried to calm him down by saying 'kisses'. He said 'I don't care'."

The court heard Yates went upstairs and continued cutting himself on a bed until the police arrived.

Yates, of Back Altham Street, Padiham, pleaded guilty to affray, criminal damage and assault.

Defending, Duncan Nightingale said his client was heavily intoxicated at the time of the incident and has no recollection of what happened. But he said he doesn't dispute anything his ex partner said he had done.

Mr Nightingale said: "There is an argument via text message during which the defendant's estranged partner says she is going back to live with her first husband. The defendant and his estranged partner had split up a month earlier. The defendant at that stage was drinking in a pub with his brother.

"He fully accepts his behaviour was deplorable."

Judge Nicholas Barker sentenced Yates to 14 months' imprisonment but suspended it for two years. He must also complete 120 hours' unpaid work and 25 rehabilitation days.