A drinker twice threatened to kill a neighbour who had been a “saint” to him, York Crown Court heard.

Gary Leslie Kendrick, 59, texted one of the threats directly to the neighbour, said Rob Galley, prosecuting.

He also messaged his niece that he would kill the neighbour that night.

“I have got lots of knives and I will do it,” he texted.

The threats were part of a series of incidents when Kendrick’s drink-fuelled behaviour made life difficult for his neighbours including refusing to put his trousers and pants back on when he indecently exposed himself in front of his house.

Mr Galley said the neighbour had helped Kendrick with his shopping and other matters since the death of his mother.

The Recorder of York, Judge Sean Morris said: “She has been a saint to him.”

He told Kendrick: “You are very fortunate to have a wonderful neighbour, in fact good neighbours, who have helped you over the years with the problems you have had.”

But since the death of his mother some years earlier, Kendrick had taken to drink.

He made a five-year restraining order forbidding Kendrick from deliberately annoying or disturbing three of his neighbours.

He gave Kendrick a two-year community order with 40 days’ rehabilitative activities.

Kendrick told him: “I am going to Changing Lives (an alcohol rehabilitation agency) and I am going to sort out my life. I won’t be any more nuisance to any of them (his neighbours).”

Kendrick, of Custance Walk, off Nunnery Lane, York, pleaded guilty to two charges of threats to kill, two of indecent exposure and one of stealing a neighbour’s bird feeder.

He had been in custody since the final incident on July 16.

Defence solicitor Kevin Blount said: “It is a very sad case. He managed as well as he could when living with his mother.”

But her death some years earlier had removed that support from him.

His house was “not fit for human habitation” said the solicitor, but he had no alternative.

The indecent exposures on June 20 and July 16 had happened when he had been drinking and was sitting outside his house. Kendrick had refused to cover up when asked to by his neighbour.

The judge said the indecent exposures had not been sexually motivated.

Mr Galley said the threats had been made on June 26 and had worried the neighbour.

She realised he had been drinking more and was concerned about what he may do.

When police arrested Kendrick that evening, he had a butter knife and other blunt knives with him.