A MAN who lashed out at his father’s fence after arguing with his stepmother over his future has been given a conditional discharge.

Andrew Gray admitted using threatening behaviour when he appeared at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates’ Court.

Prosecutor John Garside said Gray, 22, of Gladstone Street, in Darlington, had gone to see his father on Thursday, April 3.

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Gray's stepmother became involved in a conversation about Gray's future and the pair began to argue, the court heard.

Gray went outside and vented his frustrations on the fence, later telling police that if he didn't he would have hit his stepmother, with whom he has a fraught relationship, Mr Garside said.

Gray's stepmother called police and, when he refused to calm down, he was arrested.

Sam Brewster, in mitigation, said he had been trying to calm down when his stepmother called the police.

Mr Brewster said Gray accepted swearing and being sarcastic with police.

Gray was given a conditional discharge for 12 months and ordered to pay £15 victim surcharge.