A MAN was attacked in his own home by three masked attackers who he answered the door to, in the early hours of the morning.

The trio, one armed with a rolling pin and another with a wooden dowel, barged into the kitchen of the house in Chester-le-Street, at 3.30am, on January 16.

Durham Crown Court heard the shocked householder retreated upstairs, throwing items at the intruders.

Jonathan Walker, prosecuting, said he was overpowered on the landing where he was kicked and stamped, and hit up to 20 times with the weapons, as his partner and her three young children cowered in a nearby bedroom.

One assailant then straddled him, gouged at an eye, bit into his cheek, and threw more punches before removing his face covering and telling his victim: “I’m Kieran Lamb. Don’t mess with me.”

The intruders left, warning the victim to stay on the floor or he would be killed.

He was left covered in blood, with a swollen face, cuts and lacerations to his bruised and battered body, for which he received hospital treatment after police arrived.

Both he and his partner gave victim statements outlining the trauma of the incident and its after effects, particularly on the children.

As a result, they have moved from the property in Grampian Avenue and changed the children’s schools.

Mr Walker said the background was a build up of tension and ill-feeling, via social media messaging, after a brief revival of a relationship shortly after Christmas, involving the complainant and a woman to whom he previously was engaged.

Lamb, 24, of Jolliffe Street, Chester-le-Street, admitted unlawful wounding and possessing an offensive weapon.

Liam O’Brien, mitigating, said he has only one previous conviction and this is his first spell in prison.

Presenting character references for the court, Mr O’Brien said: “He’s done good things in the past and hopefully will eventually make something of his life, to change the error of his ways.

“His offending here was borne out of name-calling and social media threats, which he was too immature to deal with sensibly.”

Passing a 27-month prison sentence, Judge Ray Singh said whatever the “rights and wrongs” of the background, it was, “a pre-planned prolonged attack”, in which Lamb and his accomplices behaved like, “feral animals.”