A “PUBLIC menace” who burgled neighbours and lunged at a man with a knife nearly stabbing him is behind bars.

Christopher Wheatley, 21, of Dafydd Place, Barry, was jailed for 44 months at Cardiff Crown Court.

Paul Hewitt, prosecuting said the defendant raided a house and bungalow in Barry while the owners were asleep in June 2020.

He stole cash in both burglaries from people he knew.

Wheatley then confronted Craig Spencer with a knife at Ramsey Road, Barry, on November 27 after “shouting and screaming” outside a block of flats.

Mr Hewitt told the court: “The defendant lunged towards the complainant with the knife and come within two inches of him.

“He was using the blade in a stabbing motion.”

Wheatley pleaded guilty to two counts of burglary and threatening a person with a blade or sharply pointed article in a public place.

The defendant had nine previous convictions for 18 offences which included burglary and possession of a bladed article.

He was jailed for 44 months earlier this year for being concerned in the supply of class A drugs and assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

Peter Donnison, representing Wheatley, said his client had nowhere to live at the age of 16 when he was asked to leave home by his mother.

The defendant also became addicted to crack cocaine when he was a teenager.

Mr Donnison added: “He wishes to apologise to his victims.”

The judge, Recorder Duncan Bould, said: “Had Mr Spencer not taken evasive action, he could have been badly injured or worse.

“The defendant tried to stab him.”

Turning to Wheatley, he told him: “You were something of a menace in the locality where you were living last year.

“The incident with the knife must have been extremely frightening for Mr Spencer.

“There was a serious risk of disorder.”

The defendant was jailed for 44 months and ordered to pay a £190 victim surcharge following his release from prison.