A KNIFE-WIELDING chef who threatened to kill a colleague who he believed was having an affair with his girlfriend has been jailed for 19 months.

Father-of-two James Daunter, 42, shouted “I’m going to kill him” and tried to force his way into the kitchen of an Abergavenny restaurant whilst people were still dining.

Hours later he returned and, having taken three large knives from the kitchen, followed fleeing members of staff to a nearby hotel.

The court heard that his ex-partner, Katie McDonald, and the man he was pursuing, William Troubridge, locked themselves in an office to hide.

Daunter appeared at Cardiff Crown Court on Friday having pleaded guilty to six charges – a single public order offence, assault by beating, criminal damage, affray, threatening with a bladed article and possession of cannabis.

CCTV footage played in court showed Daunter entering Brewers Fayre in Llanfoist on the evening of November 28 last year.

Prosecutor Chris Evans said that Ms McDonald, who also worked at the restaurant, informed her manager who asked Daunter to leave.

“[Daunter] then walks towards the kitchen and starts shouting ‘where is he, I’m going to kill him’”, said Mr Evans.

“He starts walking towards the kitchen and Ms McDonald goes to block him from entering. Other members of staff tried to assist.

“The defendant then pushed Ms McDonald against the door and moved her away to gain access to the kitchen. She was left with bruises and scratches.”

Mr Troubridge left the restaurant through the rear door, while Daunter moved towards the restaurant counter and smashed the hotplate.

The court heard that Daunter then left the area at 7.45pm and returned at around 10pm, where he entered the kitchen through the rear door.

“The kitchen manager feels a tap on his shoulder and turns around to see the defendant with two carving knives and a kitchen knife held above his shoulder towards him,” said Mr Evans.

“The manager runs out of the kitchen and shouts to the remaining staff to get out.

“Staff run across to the road to the Premier Inn and both complainants lock themselves in the office area.”

CCTV showed an intoxicated Daunter running into the reception to find panicked members of staff from both buildings.

After a short period Daunter left the building and was later arrested on a nearby road, with officers recovering an amount of cannabis from him.

Mr Evans read victim impact statements from both complainants to the court, with Ms McDonald saying that the incident had left her “stressed and traumatised”.

The court heard that Daunter and Ms McDonald had been in a relationship for four years and had shared a house together.

“I feel frightened to return to my flat that I had shared with the defendant previously because of the bad memories,” her statement read.

“I was mostly a social drinker before but since the incident I now drink to feel numb.”

In his statement, Mr Troubridge said that the affair allegations were “completely untrue” and that the incident left him “greatly distressed”.

Ros Rutter, defending, said that her client stood by his claims of an affair and said it had caused issues in the workplace.

“This caused tension between the two of them and Daunter asked for his shifts to be swapped around so he didn’t have to work alongside him,” she said.

Ms Rutter said that Daunter had been drinking heavily all day on November 28 and was “horrified” when he was shown both sets of CCTV footage.

“He saw how frightening an experience it would have been for all the people that were present. This was completely out of character,” she added.

“Since being in custody he has undergone anger management classes as he recognises that he doesn’t not know how to control his anger.”

The court heard that Daunter, who has two children from previous relationship, has also been diagnosed with depression.

Recorder Peter Rouch QC labelled Daunter’s behaviour as “unpleasant and disturbing”, adding: “Those staff and members of the public must have found it very, very frightening indeed.

“This comes especially after the events in London last year, with public perception of people waving knives around at its highest.”

Along with his jail time, a restraining order was also granted prohibiting Daunter from making direct or indirect contact with both complainants.