A MAN who caused widespread damage to his cousin’s home in a drunken outburst is to undergo mental health assessment before being sentenced at court.

Daniel Cairns is said to have smashed fittings, fixtures and domestic appliances at the premises in Wheatley Hill, in east Durham, on February 24, before threatening to cause further damage when police arrived at the address.

The 32-year-old defendant, of Jack Lawson Terrace, Wheatley Hill, admitted charges of causing criminal damage and affray when he subsequently appeared before magistrates.

He was remanded in custody and the case was sent for sentence to Durham Crown Court, where he appeared via video link from the city’s nearby prison.

His counsel, Lewis Kerr, said it appears the defendant was, “in the midst of some sort of breakdown”, and the court may be helped by a psychiatric report in this case.

Agreeing, Recorder Chris Knox adjourned sentence until April 29.

Remanding Cairns to remain in custody in the meantime, he told him: “In spite of the adjournment, let's put it in terms you will understand, you’re at real risk of a prison sentence.”