A DRUG addict battered his friend with a pan before stabbing him in the head with a hypodermic needle during a frenzied attack.

Stewart Hagan, 22, flew into a rage after he was accused of stealing £20 from his friend.

The pair had been drinking and taking drugs at the victim’s house in Edward Terrace, New Brancepeth, near Durham, when violence erupted at 4am on September 18 this year.

Newcastle Crown Court heard how Hagan, of James Street South, Murton, punched the 34-year-old man several times before he went looking for a knife to stab him with.

He returned from the kitchen with a pan and attacked the man with it, before smashing a glass table over his body.

During the frenzied attack, which lasted 20 minutes, Hagan stabbed his victim in the head with the needle from a syringe, and trashed his house.

He broke a door, threw a microwave at the man and smashed a window with a table.

When his terrified victim tried to escape, Hagan chased him into the street and continued to kick him on the floor and stamp on him, shouting: ‘I am going to kill you’

Mark Giuliani, prosecuting, said: “He said the complainant had overstepped the mark and disrespected him.

“He was told he was lucky he had not killed the man and he replied he could not care less as ‘he had deserved it’.”

When he was interviewed, he was formally arrested and cautioned for assault, he replied: “Assault? Is that it? I hit him in the face with a pan. I smashed him. I stabbed him in the head with a needle. There might be in a needle in the back of his head.”

The victim suffered extensive bruising and a piece of metal was found in his lower scalp.

Hagan pleaded guilty to attempted murder at a previous hearing.

The court heard he had been convicted several times previously for assault and battery, as well as breaching orders for offences against his mother.

The court was told pre-sentence and psychiatric reports found Hagan had experienced a traumatic and troubled childhood and was suffering from an emotionally unstable personality disorder.

He has a history of substance abuse and had been taking Diazepam at the time of the offence.

Martin Scarborough, mitigating, said: “He will be in prison for a substantial period of time. He would like to get help while he is in there.

“He seems to be a young man who is willing to work with people while in prison with his mental health which will reduce his risk of causing harm to people in the future.”

Judge James Goss, Recorder of Newcastle, imposed an extended custodial sentence of 14 years imprisonment.

He said: “You have not shown any remorse. Your only regret, expressed to the police and in a letter to the court, is that you did succeed in killing your victim.

“He does not understand why someone that he had trusted would do this to him.”