A MAN who robbed his own mother of a purse containing £40 has been given a nine-month jail sentence, suspended for two years.

Shane Nicholson used a key to gain access to his mother Phyllis's home in Darlington and grabbed the purse from her grasp, causing an injury to her wrist.

The 20-year-old, of Newfoundland Street, Darlington, also pulled a knife and threatened to harm himself with it.

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Teesside Crown Court heard how Nicholson later returned to the property to apologise, before handing himself into police.

He admitted an offence of robbery on September 2 this year.

Jonny Walker, mitigating, said there was no gratuitous violence involved in the offence. He pointed out that Nicholson had been on remand in prison since his arrest in September.

Prior to that he had been due to start a course at Darlington College.

Judge Tony Briggs commended a very good letter Nicholson handed into the court and said he was a “lad with some intelligence who had achieved a fair bit” academically.

He described the offence as "nasty and mean".

Suspending the sentence, Judge Briggs said it was Nicholson's “last chance” and said he had been very stupid over the past few years.

He said he would be subject to supervision by the probation service and also ordered him to attend a “Thinking Skills” course.