A MAN put his mother through a prolonged attack in which he throttled and bit her, then threatened to set her dressing gown alight, while keeping her captive in her own home.

Martin Crawley was said to resent his mother after he spent time in care as a youngster.

Durham Crown Court was told it culminated in the terrifying four-hour ordeal, which left his 61-year-old mother, who is registered disabled through lung disease, injured and seriously distressed.

The court heard he had been drinking heavily during the day, on October 9, and when his mother returned to their home, in Ruby Avenue, Chilton, from shopping at 5.30pm he claimed he had to do everything for her.

Jane Waugh, prosecuting, said he raised the subject of his time in care and accused his mother of having not loved him.

Crawley put his face into his mother’s face, then placed both hands round her neck and squeezed hard for what seemed like 30 seconds, during which she thought she would pass out.

Miss Waugh said Crawley told his mother he was in control then pulled her face towards him and bit her, before repeatedly trying to set light to her dressing room, using a lighter.

She feared she would be seriously burned and so screamed at her son, telling him to get out, but he threatened that he would, “burn her to death”.

When she tried to ring for the police he grabbed the phone and smashed the handset, then he gave her a pen and told her to say her ‘goodbyes’ to everyone.

After about four hours he left, telling her not to ring the police, but she did so, locking the doors in case her son returned before officers arrived.

Miss Waugh said on top of the psychological harm, Crawley’s mother suffered bruising to the neck and soreness to her face.

She told police she wanted nothing more to do with her son.

Crawley, 37, admitted assault causing actual bodily harm, making threats to kill, criminal damage and false imprisonment.

The court heard his 48 previous offences include convictions for violence.

But, in mitigation, Duncan McReddie said none of those past offences bore any resemblance to the latest incident.

“He made full and candid admissions, making no attempt to minimise what he had done.

“As he said himself: ‘He did what he did,’ and expressed remorse for it.”

Judge James Adkin told the defendant: “You subjected your mother to a prolonged, terrifying ordeal which she had to endure for four hours, causing very serious distress.”

He imposed a four-year prison sentence and made Crawley subject of a lifetime restraining order prohibiting him from approaching or trying to contact his mother.