A MAN hit a takeaway owner over the head with a dinner plate in a row over unpaid rent.

Michael Baldwin, of Parmeter Street in Stanley, admitted one charge of common assault after following the victim into his takeaway kitchen after they'd argued over rent and the switching off of a boiler.

Emma Barker, prosecuting, told Newton Aycliffe Magistrates' Court the 43-year-old, who was renting the flat above the takeaway, had no money to pay the rent as he has just been released from prison.

After being confronted, Baldwin struck the owner with the plate and then knocked over some chips in the kitchen like a "petulant child" before leaving.

The takeaway owner did not suffer any injuries.

Robin Ford, mitigating, said Baldwin was the "author of his own downfall" and was "back to square one with nowhere to live".

He was given a conditional discharge for 12 months and ordered to pay £100 compensation.