AN unruly teenager is behind bars five months after attacking and threatening to kill a fellow resident at a youth hostel.

Kevin Anthony Hetherington was arrested after the drunken unprovoked assault in which he threatened to stab the other teenager at the YMCA in Chester-le-Street, where both were living at the time, on August 24, last year.

Durham Crown Court heard the victim was taken to a secure staff room for his own safety after Hetherington went to a kitchen area looking for a knife to use to carry out his threat.

Uzma Khan, prosecuting, said when he was unable to find a knife, Hetherington went to a window at the staff room and shouted to the other resident: “Me and you, now, outside Tesco’s and I’ll stab you in the f***ing neck.”

Police arrived and arrested Hetherington, while the relieved resident who was earlier punched in the face by the defendant, told police he had not wanted to get involved in any violence.

Miss Khan said when interviewed the next day Hetherington said he had little memory of the incident as he was “mortal drunk” at the time, rating himself, “20 out of ten” on a scale of inebriation.

But he told police he could recall getting into a fight and punching the other teenager.

He claimed any threats made, “were just words”.

Hetherington, 18, of no fixed abode, admitted two counts of making a threat to kill and one of common assault at a hearing in September.

Judge Jonathan Carroll offered him a chance to avoid a custodial sentence by deferring sentence to allow him to work with the Probation Service to address his issues and curb his binge drinking.

But on his return for the deferred sentence, the court was told he has failed to engage with the Probation Service, while he only attempted to stop drinking ten days before the hearing.

Susan Hirst, mitigating, told the court: “On the face of it, he presents as a truculent, difficult young man and I don’t shy away from that.

“But the reality is that he’s quite a vulnerable frightened young man.”

She said he endured a difficult upbringing and needs to go “half-way” to meet people offering him support.

Despite her request for him to be given “a final chance”, the judge said: “I can’t possibly assist him now.

“He’s not co-operating. The chance was there and he hasn’t taken it.”

He told Hetherington: “Regrettably, you failed to take advantage of that opportunity.”

Imposing a one-year sentence in a young offenders’ institution, Judge Carroll added: “It doesn’t give me any satisfaction, in fact, I’m genuinely sad to send you to detention and I truly hope you take whatever is on offer there to get yourself on your feet and grow up a bit.”