A masked man terrorised teenagers in a park while brandishing a 12-inch knife and a convincing imitation gun.
Mathieu Lucas, 25, was also wearing a balaclava when he charged at defenceless kids.
He first approached three girls, all between the ages of 14 and 16, in Cadishead Park, Salford.
A girl asked Lucas whether he was alright, but he ignored her.
Another girl noticed his menacing attire and the huge knife and they all ran off, leaving their food and drink behind.
The girls hid at the side of a nearby house and called police, only leaving after hearing officers arriving roughly an hour later.
One girl described the ordeal as “strange” and “creepy”, and said she was “terrified”, Manchester Crown Court was told.
Lucas, who has a history of drink and drug abuse, left a suicide note for his family which stated he was “violent and crazy”.
The thug claims to have no memory of the incident, which occurred in the early hours of April 21, due to drink.
A neighbour opened her blinds and saw Lucas holding a “small, black gun” which she believed was real, the court heard.
Shortly after, Lucas came into contact with a 17-year-old boy and his two friends, sat on a bench in the park.
They noticed Lucas coming towards them, and one commented that he had a knife. Lucas “sped up” towards them after they pointed-out the knife, prosecutor Mark Rhind said.
He got within centimetres of the boy, and “swung” the knife at him.
Luckily, the lad was able to block the move and Lucas tumbled to the floor.
The boy’s friends stood on Lucas’ wrist and prised the knife out of his hand.
The 17-year-old, described as “stocky and strong”, was able to grab Lucas and he and his friends pinned him down and called the police.
When he heard they were calling the police, Lucas said: “Good, call the police, that’s what I wanted”.
He then said: “When I get out I will find you, I will slit your throat and kill your whole family.”
Lucas also suggested he was an “enforcer” and said “his boss had sent him out because people owed money”.
“This is what I do, this is what I get paid for,” he added.
He then told the boys he hadn’t taken his “psych medication” and that “he had been to the pub”.
When the police arrived, they arrested Lucas and found a handwritten note on him.
It read: “My name is Mathieu. If you encounter me then I am blacked out.
“When I wake up I will have no memory. But blacked out me is violent and crazy.”
Defending, Mark Friend said that Lucas suffers from mental health problems as a result of his “significant misuse of alcohol and drugs”.
He comes from a “thoroughly decent background” and is not “attuned” to the prison environment, it was said.
Lucas has got sober in prison and has tried to tackle his problems while on remand, the court was told.
Mr Friend says Lucas’ parents had previously tried to get him help for his mental health issues, but he was “left in limbo without the professional assistance he should have been given”.
The barrister asked whether the judge could pass a non-custodial sentence, as he said Lucas had made a “genuine and sincere commitment” to tackle his problems.
But Judge Elizabeth Nicholls said: “I would be absolutely failing in my public duty and my duty to protect the public if I did not impose an immediate term of imprisonment.”
The judge told Lucas: “This case is of great concern. It is plain you planned both terror and harm.
“You knew there would be groups of young people.
“You terrorised those young people.
“Your conduct that night was frightening and dangerous.”
Lucas, of York Road, Cadishead, Salford, pleaded guilty to possessing an imitation firearm with intent to cause fear or violence; and to threatening with a blade.
He is due to be sentenced at a later date.