A man tried to stab a house-mate after a row about leaving the loo seat up.

Sanjhiv Auchraj saw red and took the toilet seat away altogether after his patience snapped.

He scrawled a message on the cistern telling others living in the shared house to leave the lid down in future.

Clifford Meaden was asked by other residents to speak to Auchraj about the missing seat, Brighton Crown Court heard.

Auchraj, 44, who had been drinking, was in bed in his room when Mr Meaden asked him where it was.

Auchraj told him he had thrown it in the bin and then jumped out of bed brandishing a 12ins kitchen knife.

Tony Cox, prosecuting, said: “Mr Meaden was extremely frightened and thought he was going to be stabbed.

“There was a struggle and Mr Meaden grabbed his arm to try to get the knife off him.”

Two women and a terrified six-year-old boy screamed in fear as other residents joined in the struggle, the court heard.

Auchraj, of Rushetts Road, Langley Green, Crawley, was arrested at the scene and later admitted affray.

He has a previous conviction for affray in 2005 when he pinned his wife against the stairs and threatened her with a knife.

Richard Mandell, defending, said: “Tensions in the house were running high, to say the least.

“Others living in the house said he was a nice guy until he started drinking.”

Auchraj was given a six month prison sentence suspended for a year.

He must also do 300 hours unpaid community work.

Judge Claire Jakens said: “A row seems to have erupted over something as petty as a toilet seat.

“What followed was a total over reaction.

“Your behaviour was volatile, aggressive and dangerous because it involved a knife.

“It was particularly terrifying that a child was exposed to this kind of behaviour.

“The people in that house must have been utterly terrified by what they saw.”