A drunken man who picked up a foot-long knife and threatened to kill his family could have been "a few heartbeats" away from doing it, a judge said.
James Latham had complained about his tea and a TV programme before picking up a meat knife from the kitchen.
A court heard how he was disarmed by his wife and one of his daughters - but could later remember nothing of what took place.
The 57-year-old was given a suspended sentence order by Judge Norman Wright.
At a Preston Crown Court hearing, the Judge said: "You were two to three seconds away from possibly being on a murder charge.
"Something can be said and then completely out of character, a knife is used and somebody dies.
"You must understand what you are capable of when in drink. You might have taken that one step further and someone might have been dead if you had used that knife. Just think about that.
"That is something you seemed to be a few heartbeats away from doing."
The defendant, of Cambridge Street, Great Harwood, had pleaded guilty to an offence of affray.
He was given 26 weeks in prison, suspended for two years with two years supervision and requirement for alcohol treatment.
The incident arose on March 28 when the defendant and his wife Barbara and their two teenage children were at home in Church Street, Great Harwood.
Mr Andrew Sinker, prosecuting, said the defendant started complaining about his tea, which was a fry-up and also about a TV music channel saying it could be turned off.
The other family members disagreed and he responded by saying: "I'll show you. I'll kill the lot of you."
He went to the kitchen and returned with a meat knife, about a foot long. He then said: "I'll stab the lot of you", and was holding the knife in his right hand.
Mrs Latham and one of the daughters managed to get the knife off him.
When interviewed by police he said he could not recall what had happened, but accepted it must have done, commenting his wife would not lie about such a thing. He also indicated he was very sorry.
Latham was a man of previous good character.
Mrs Rachel Woods, defending, said he had been an industrious man, providing for his wife and children, and had hit a downward spiral.
She said: "He knows only too well that he must change or else matters are only going to deteriorate and he may end up in an early grave if he carries on drinking as he is.
"It is a frightening prospect that he doesn't recollect what happened.
He has reduced his alcohol intake and is adamant he will engage in any help that is offered to him."