A MAN threatened to “chop" up the residents of an Alexandria street and set their homes alight during a terrifying axe-wielding rampage.

Gerard Brown, 40, pleaded guilty to possessing the weapon, acting in an aggressive manner, repeatedly uttering threats of violence and repeatedly striking doors during a hearing at Dumbarton Sheriff Court on Wednesday.

Depute fiscal Martina McGuigan told the court it was around 10.15am on May 30 when the incident kicked off in Colquhoun Drive.

She said: “[A witness] heard more noise and saw the accused brandishing an axe, shouting about chopping people’s legs off. Around that time he contacted police.

“[Another witness] observed the accused shouting ‘you f****** stole my bike, I’ll sit outside this f****** close until you come out’ and observed he was holding a large hatchet with a yellow handle.

“[The witness] was of the impression the accused was under the influence of alcohol or drugs.”

The accused then left the scene but returned a short while later and continued to shout about the theft of a bike.

Ms McGuigan continued: “He was stating he was going to burn the flats down with everybody inside.

“[A witness] heard another resident exit her flat and attempt to calm him down. He shouted he would be back in 20 minutes but returned about 30 seconds later shouting ‘I’m back and if you don’t give me my bike I’m going to chop you’.”

Brown, a prisoner of Barlinnie Prison, then dumped the axe next to a nearby motor vehicle and made off.

However, several worried residents had contacted police and he was caught a few days later in the town’s Main Street.

When charged with causing fear and alarm to residents he replied “nonsense” and when charged with being in the possession of the weapon he told police it was “b*******”, the court heard.

Solicitor Roddy Boag told the court he expected his client’s sentence to be deferred to await background reports but stated he “wasn’t sure” the incident merited a violent offence.

However, Sheriff William Gallacher said he would need a criminal justice social work report to make his decision and deferred sentencing until October 4.

He said: “I’m going to adjourn this case for the preparation of social work reports to assess the ongoing risk you undoubtedly present to the community to determine if supervised release or an extended sentence might be more apt or appropriate.”

Sheriff Gallacher added he would consider contacting the High Court for a life-long restriction for Brown due to his record.