A BUSINESSMAN has been spared jail after threatening to kill his ex-wife’s new boyfriend with an axe.

Nicholas Malone, 50, was upset after his ex-wife revealed to him that she was seeing a new man.

The news sent the property management firm owner into a rage before he sent a volley of texts threatening to kill her boyfriend, and turned up at their former marital home with an axe.

At a sentencing hearing at Lewes Crown Court, Judge Guy Anthony said the threat was deemed “very serious” and a custodial sentence needed to be imposed.

The court heard his 18-year-marriage to Nicky Malone had broken down before he was struck with bowel and liver cancer.

On November 24, Ms Malone visited her husband, who she had split from, at his flat for a meal with their son, where she revealed she had started seeing a new man.

An incensed Malone then demanded to know who her new partner was and threatened he would kill him.

The father-of-two later sent texts to Ms Malone, who was spending the night with her new partner, saying it “was the final straw” and said he had “one mission left” to kill the new boyfriend before committing suicide.

A day later, Ms Malone drove home to find Malone standing on the drive of their former house in Loxwood Avenue, Worthing, with an axe, asking where her new boyfriend was and telling her he was going to kill him.

He later tied a long piece of rope over rafters in the roof before being taken away by his father.

On November 26 after telling his wife he had overdosed, he made threats again to kill the new boyfriend, who he did not know or see, to hospital staff.

Ross Talbott, prosecuting, told the court: “Malone was arrested and told officers he had deteriorated in physical health, and had a difficult day on November 23 and 24 because of incident with his colostomy bag, having been looking forward to seeing his ex-wife and son at the flat.

“The news broken to him tipped him over the edge, he said.”

David Bathurst, defending, pleaded with the judge to suspend Malone’s prison sentence citing “exceptional mitigating circumstances.”

The court heard Malone’s cancer diagnoses had a disastrous effect on him physically and psychologically, including “degraded sexual function” and “unpleasant erratic bowel function.”

Mr Bathurst said: “Around 4am he had a major toilet accident while in bed and left toilet waste across the flat. He only completed the clean up before Ms Malone and his son got there for dinner.

“He was in quite a highly charged emotional state.”

He said Malone never intended to carry out the threats and didn’t intend to use the axe.

He added since the incident the property manager of 18 years had to relinquish directorship of his business - Worthing-based Jordan and Cook, which he co-owns.

Malone, of Penryn, Cornwall, plead guilty to possession of an offensive weapon and threats to kill.

Judge Anthony said the offences were so serious they warranted a custodial sentence.

He said: “Any offence making threats to kill with intention of causing fear it would be carried out is a very serious one.

“To do so carrying an axe takes it to a different level from the simple threat made in the heat of the moment.”

But he felt able to suspend the 15 months imprisonment for both counts concurrently for two years.

He was also made to attend 12 rehabilitation activity sessions, 120 hours unpaid work, £535 in costs and to adhere to a restraining order preventing him from entering Loxwood Avenue, Worthing.