A HORSHAM man who brandished a samurai sword at police and threatened to kill his neighbours is due to be released from jail by Christmas.

Darren Kirk, 51, pleaded guilty in Horsham Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday to two counts of criminal damage, five counts of having made threats to kill and one count each of reckless conduct endangering serious injury, having assaulted police and possession of a prohibited weapon.

Magistrate Ian von Einem sentenced Kirk on Friday to 15 months’ jail and ordered him to forfeit his swords and pay restitution for a window he damaged.

Kirk will serve seven months, less 56 days already served, and will be on parole for eight months.

Mr von Einem also sentenced Kirk to two months’ jail for having breached a community corrections order and community-based order, to be served concurrently with his 15-month sentence.

Kirk has prior convictions in New South Wales and had been jailed for assaulting police and burglaries.

Police prosecutor Senior Constable Matthew Haughton told the court on Wednesday that Kirk had had a dispute with his neighbours since January.

Kirk’s verbal attacks escalated and he argued with his neighbours on May 3, when he swore and told them he was sick of them.

He smashed a window of his neighbour’s house, causing $485 damage.

Kirk then had a samurai sword with a 50-centimetre long blade and told his neighbours he would kill them on May 4 about 1am.

He then used his sword on the frame of the window he had smashed earlier and swore, threatening to kill his neighbours by chopping them up.

Police arrived and Kirk jumped a fence.

He pointed the tip of his sword towards police. The tip was about 30 centimetres away from them.

Kirk called the police an obscene name and threatened to kill them.

A siege ensued, with Kirk refusing to leave his house.

He consumed drugs and alcohol and was later under police guard in Wimmera Base Hospital.

Police found a second samurai sword in Kirk’s house.

Kirk also denied smashing a window on May 1 and further denied he threatened to kill his neighbours on May 2.

Victoria Legal Aid solicitor Jacqui Parker said on Wednesday that her client’s past history was not extensive for his age and he had long-term substance abuse issues.

She said Kirk’s world ‘collapsed’ when he lost his job about seven years ago and he offended in order to go to jail, so he would have somewhere to sleep.

Mr von Einem said Kirk had breached a previous community-based order for burglary and theft.

“You must pay for what has occurred,” Mr von Einem said on Friday. “The court has given you opportunities in the past.

“But you are not beyond hope.”

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