A MAN smashed the windows of a woman's home with bricks and threatened to murder her — because he was concerned for the welfare of a child inside, Greenock Sheriff Court was told.

Josh Elkin armed himself with a knife and stormed to the Port Glasgow property in an alcohol-fuelled rage before hurling chunks of masonry at it during a seven-minute rage.

Two women and two children were within the house on Arran Avenue and hid in an upstairs bedroom as multiple emergency 999 calls were made to the police.

Elkin, 25 — who is today beginning a lengthy prison sentence — says he was worried for one of the children, but saw his actions described by a sheriff as 'despicable'.

Prosecutor Claire Rowan said: "The witnesses became aware of the front door being banged and heard a male voice shouting, which they identified as being the accused's.

"One witness attended at the front door to ensure it was locked and at this time she told the accused to leave.

"He continued to shout and swear, stating, 'You better open the door or I'm going to kill you'.

"At this time neighbours had become aware of the situation and had come out from their houses."

Elkin targeted the house at 9.20pm on May 23 following an argument with one of the women more than seven hours earlier.

He pleaded guilty to threatening and abusive behaviour, culpably and recklessly throwing bricks at the windows and unlawful possession of a knife.

Fiscal depute Ms Rowan said: "A neighbour contacted 999 to report the disturbance, as did the other woman inside the house.

"Officers arrived very shortly thereafter, at 9.27pm.

"They were directed my members of the public in relation to where the accused had gone.

"Officers caught up with him and noted that he had a knife in his left hand."

Elkin's lawyer, Edel McGinty, told the court: "There is some context to this.

"There had been persons within the house whom he considered to be a potential danger to the child — someone who is on the Sex Offenders Register.

"He also had concerns about substance abuse. He consumed alcohol and got himself progressively worked up about the matter.

"The comments he made were empty threats and were said in the heat of the moment.

"He has no previous convictions for weapons or violence."

Sheriff Joseph Hughes told Elkin: "Your conduct was despicable."

The sheriff sentenced him to 16 months imprisonment, backdated to May 22, the date he was remanded in custody.