AN elderly householder confronted by a knife-carrying teenager at her home has been praised for her stoic response.

The 70-year-old woman feared for her life during the ordeal in which the unwanted visitor pointed the 10in chef’s knife at her chest, telling her he was, “going to kill you, or somebody”.

Durham Crown Court heard that on a previous visit, a short time earlier, when he appeared “spaced out”, he showed her the knife and told her: “I’m going to do something with it.”

Shaun Dryden, prosecuting, told the court she kicked the young intruder in the leg and he dropped the knife, but picked it up and followed her into the living room.

Mr Dryden said despite being, “horrified, scared and petrified,”, she kicked him in the knee, grabbed the knife and threw it out of the door.

He returned later in a different set of clothing, making further threats, before running off.

A neighbour rang the police and, in an area search, the knife, duct tape and the intruder’s previous clothing were recovered.

His glasses were found in some shrubbery and, later that day, January 29, he was arrested at his home, in the same east Durham village.

The 15-year-old, now aged 16, admitted aggravated burglary, threatening behaviour and possessing a knife in public.

Amrit Jandoo, mitigating, said it was “bizarre” behaviour by someone easily-led and mixing with an older, more criminally-sophisticated peer group.

Mr Jandoo said the defendant had a lack of maturity and, “perhaps didn’t recognise the consequences of his actions.”

Having read a psychiatric report, Judge Jonathan Carroll described him as, “an immature 15-year-old”, at the time of the offences.

But, the judge said he felt he could be managed in the community under the watch of the Youth Offending Service.

He passed a three-year youth rehabilitation order, to include 91 days intensive supervision and surveillance, at approved accommodation, under an electronically-monitored night curfew.

A restraining order was agreed in which the defendant is prohibited from returning to the village for ten years.

The judge added that the victim’s reaction to the threats was, “remarkably robust”, given her age.