A violent rampage which ended in a stand-off with police as a Clutha man tried to set a car on fire has resulted in him being jailed for nearly two and a half years.

Michael Joseph Dunlea (32) tried to shift the blame when he was finally arrested, the Dunedin District Court heard yesterday.

"People should just not upset me," he said.

"They know what happens when I get rowdy."


But rowdy did not cover the wild drunken spree on November 13.

"Your behaviour was totally appalling," Judge Jim Large said.

Dunlea, who pleaded guilty to seven charges, went to his workmates house, intoxicated, in the early hours of the morning, asking where his partner was.

When he took off home, his colleague followed in his vehicle, hoping to diffuse the escalating situation.

Dunlea did not take kindly to the man's input and tried to punch him.

When informed his partner and children were inside the house, the defendant said: "Get them out here before I kill the lot of them."

After getting the children in his car, Dunlea went searching for his partner at a neighbouring property, his anger showed no sign of abating.

"Don't call the cops mate. I'll smash your f***ing face in, your wife and your kids ...'' he yelled at the Filipino residents.


Again, the workmate tried to intervene and was punched in the face.

Dunlea retrieved an empty beer bottle and smashed it on the fence.

He approached the victim and held the jagged remains a centimetre from the man's stomach, then ran the sharp edge against his chest.

"I'm just going to give you a week mark," he said.

Dunlea smashed the bottle on the victim's vehicle and began kicking it before punching the man a third time.

He then drove off in the man's Nissan, threatened his teenage son, tried to take a motorbike then returned home again in the stolen car.

When a lone police officer showed up, Dunlea approached wielding a metal bar.

He retreated to await back up.

In the interim, Dunlea arranged toys and property belonging to his partner into a pile in front of the house, doused it in diesel and set it alight.

He tried to do the same to the victim's Nissan but the fire did not take.

The victim had been left with cuts but the psychological scars were deeper.

In a statement he said he had only confronted Dunlea because he considered him a friend.

Now he had been diagnosed with post-traumatic-stress disorder and woke in the night to visions of being stabbed by the defendant.

Counsel Deborah Henderson said her client's stress levels — and reliance on alcohol — has increased when he had been promoted to farm manager.

Dunlea accepted responsibility for his actions, she said, despite telling Probation that most
of the summary of facts was untrue.

He also claimed his kids had come through the mayhem unscathed.

"To be frank, I think your deluding yourself," Judge Large said.

Dunlea was sentenced to two years five months' imprisonment and ordered to pay $3482 reparation.