A woman was terrorised in her own home by her jealous former best friend - who was brandishing a large kitchen knife - and her partner.

Keith Greer had earlier called at Rebecca Rowell’s home in the early hours of the morning accusing her of spreading rumours, pulled her out of her home and threw her to the ground.

He then pulled her back into the house and left and she was on the phone to police complaining about this when he returned with Joanne Brannon.

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The 999 call handler heard Ms Rowell desperately telling Brannon to “get the knife away” and Brannon, who had previously wrongly accused her of sleeping with Greer, was shouting that she knew what she had told ‘Jodie', someone Ms Rowell did not even know.

Greer was physically aggressive manhandling her and repeatedly told the victim she was “going to die.” said Philip Clemo, prosecuting.

He added: “Brannon never physically assaulted her but repeatedly waved the knife at her before the couple left.”

“She got back to the police extremely upset and officers arrived and she described what had happened. She described the knife as having a red blade.”

Brannon was found at her home in Wavell Avenue, Southport shortly afterwards at 2.20am that day, April 17 last year and when cautioned “she tellingly commented she had only taken it for her own protection, clearly a reference to the knife,” said Mr Clemo.

She voluntarily showed them the knife in the kitchen and it was found to have a copper blade, which explained the description of a red blade, he added.

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Greer was later tracked down and arrested and said, “You caught me.”

The couple denied the offences put to them and Greer claimed he had been the victim of aggression by Ms Rowell.

In an impact statement the victim said her physical injuries had healed but she was left “mentally scarred” and felt like a prisoner in her own home.

She said she used to be outgoing but now rarely goes out and has been prescribed medication. She had asked the housing association who provide her home if she could be moved as she did not feel safe.

Mr Clemo told Liverpool Crown Court that in the December before the incident “Brannon had got it into her head that the victim and Greer had been sleeping together, which wasn’t true. But it is right that Greer had messaged Rebecca Rowell to meet up, she having refused.”

One day in December Brannon, who was extremely aggressive, turned up at her home shouting at her and accusing her of sleeping with Greer. She returned the next day and started kicking the door. The victim considered notifying the police but decided against because of the hassle of doing so.

42-year-old Greer, of Linaker Street, Southport and Brannon, 41, both pleaded guilty to affray and Brannon also admitted possessing a bladed article. Charges of making threats to kill and assault by beating, which they had denied, were both ordered to lie on the file.

The court heard that Greer has 19 convictions for 32 offences. His barrister Charles Lander said that the defendant “does not seek to minimise his behaviour."

He added: "His guilty plea saved the complainant from re-living these events."

Brannon appeared at court in a wheelchair, which she had to struggle out of to get into the dock, and she spent the hearing in obvious pain clinging to the glass panels in the dock.

Mark Phillips, defending, said: “She is very sorry for her actions. She is a woman who has mental and physical problems.”

He explained her physical problems related to a spinal cord compression fracture she suffered during childbirth which has been getting over the years and it means she now spends most of her time in a wheelchair.

Mr Phillips added that despite her problems she is carer for the couple’s 15-year-old autistic daughter.

The judge, Recorder Matthew Corbett-Jones said that since the incident Greer has received treatment for his alcohol and drug abuse and is assessed as a medium risk of re-offending.

He told Brannon that he was aware of the mental health issues she has had and a reference spoke of her qualities as a person.

Greer was sentenced to 12 months in prison, suspended for 18 months, and ordered to carry out 25 days rehabilitation activities. Brannon was sentenced to 16 months imprisonment suspended for two years, and ordered to carry out 40 days rehabilitation activities.

The judge imposed a five-year restraining order to keep away from the victim.