A SON heaped misery on his mother and step-father when he returned home to County Durham after losing a catering job in South Yorkshire, a court heard.

Nicholas Alexander Hazell brought an “horrendous” atmosphere to the family home, constantly demanding money from his mother and responding petulantly and, sometimes, aggressively, when refused.

Durham Crown Court heard that for a short time he was thrown out of the home, sleeping in his mother’s car, but was allowed back after bombarding her with threatening messages.

Nick Adlington, prosecuting, said among his angry outbursts, he threw his mother into a chair and repeatedly spat at her, while he held a screw driver to the throat of his step-father.

He also whipped his step-father about the head, put him in a headlock and poured a bottle of beer over him, proclaiming he was: “A master of bullying.”

In other tantrums he caused damage to furnishings and fittings round the house.

When his mother refused to give him £6,000 for a pub tenancy he was reported to police and only arrested after a 15-minute car chase in which he reached 100-miles per hour.

While on remand in Durham Prison phone calls were recorded in which he asked his sister to try to persuade their mother to drop her complaints against him, which worked as she would not assist in the prosecution.

Despite early denials, Hazell, 27, of Riverside, South Church, Bishop Auckland, admitted controlling or coercive behaviour in a family relationship, dangerous driving and perverting the course of justice.

Stephen Constantine, mitigating, said Hazell had a history from a young age of suffering from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder which may account for his mood swings and erratic behaviour.

But, Judge Jonathan Carroll told Hazell, despite his age: “You are still acting more consistently like a petulant, stroppy teenager than a responsible adult.

“You said yourself you were ‘a master of bullying’ and that seems to be eminently true.”

He imposed a 39-month prison sentence and a 12-month driving ban on his release from prison.

A restraining order prohibits contact with his step-father, indefinitely.