A man has been spared jail over an incident in which he pounced on a woman with a machete - and almost struck her with it.

Callum Brown, 22 - a painter and decorator - appeared before Reading Crown Court today (June 10).

He was previously convicted by magistrates of possession of a bladed article in public and making threats to kill.

The court heard that, in 2022, Brown was involved in a dispute with a man in Newbury. Prosecuting barrister Cathy Oliver said the conflict was 'constant'.

On March 26 that year, a gang of men - including the defendant - went to the man's house.

The group of five men were wearing balaclavas, but a woman living at the address was able to identify one of them as Brown.

At sentencing today, Mrs Oliver spoke of the woman's terrifying ordeal.

The prosecutor said: "She [the resident] was upstairs when she heard a lot of noise in front of her house, and she saw people running past her house.

"They were men in balaclavas, and they had weapons on them."

Rocks and debris were thrown, and the woman came downstairs to find her window smashed.

Brown then approached her wielding his machete, saying: "I'm going to kill you."

The woman ducked out of the way just as Brown struck out at her with the machete.

Mrs Oliver said: "She felt the whoosh of the machete going past her."

Sophie Evans, defending Brown, said her client was immature at the time of the incident, and had since changed his ways.

He had kicked his substance abuse, turned his back on his former criminal associates, and taken up gainful employment.

Ms Evans stated: "It is my submission that Mr Brown was much less mature at the time of this incident than he is today."

Recorder Christine Wilson handed Brown a suspended sentence of two years, suspended for 18 months.

During the sentence's operational period, he must complete 20 days of rehabilitation activities.

Summing up the case, Recorder Wilson emphasised the severity of Brown's offending. She said: "It is a serious offence, and the fact I am suspending it [the sentence] does not take away from that."