A jealous former serviceman held a lock knife as he walked towards a bouncer, a court heard.
A judge told the 56-year-old he pulled out the knife when there was a risk of trouble on the Barbican.
But Finighan avoided jail at Plymouth Crown Court because of his guilty plea and good character.
He had earlier pleaded guilty to possession of a bladed article in Basket Ope on February 10.
Althea Brooks, for the Crown Prosecution Service, said that Finighan had pulled out a knife and advanced on a member of staff at the Three Crowns pub.
She added the defendant appeared jealous after the man had spoken to the woman earlier that night.
Nick Lewin, for Finighan, said: “He is terrified at the prospect of prison, though that is a fear he has brought upon himself.
“He is on a military pension, enjoying the retired life in Spain.”
The barrister stressed that Finighan had reached his mid-50s with a good character.
Judge Paul Darlow told the defendant: “The bladed article was produced in circumstances where there was a risk of serious disorder.
“I cannot tell you how sad it is to see a man of your calibre in court.”
He handed Finighan an eight-month prison sentence, suspended for two years. He will have to pay £425 towards prosecution costs.
Source – Plymouth Herald