A man chased another man into a shop in Blackpool town centre and threatened to kill him in front of customers and staff.
Robert Snow accused the man of being a paedophile who had raped a four-year-old child.
Snow has since learned he had been completely wrong about the man and that his victim was not a sex offender.
Snow, unemployed, 23, of Cavendish Road, St Annes, pleaded guilty to threatening behaviour.
He was sentenced to 56 days’ imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, put on six months’ supervision, and ordered to pay £85 costs plus £80 victims’ surcharge.
Snow was also made the subject of a two-year restraining order, which bans him from contacting the victim, by District Judge Huw Edwards sitting at Blackpool Magistrates Court.
The judge told him: “This was a totally and utterly unacceptable course of conduct which should not have happened. I am sure it caused the victim considerable distress.”
Alison Quanbrough, prosecuting, said Snow threatened to kill the man and chased him into Scott’s clothing store on December 29.
He called the man a paedophile in front of staff and customers, saying he had raped a four-year-old child.
Kathryn Jamieson-Sinclair, defending, said Snow had been told the man had raped a child.
Mrs Jamieson-Sinclair added: “He now accepts his belief about the man being a paedophile was not true and he would apologise to him if he could.”