POLICE attending a report of a domestic incident witnessed a volatile verbal exchange between a couple, a court was told.

Despite the vexed nature of the comments made in the row being captured on a police body-worn camera by an officer at the scene, defendant Adrian James Maitland denies making any threats to kill.

The 44-year-old defendant was appearing at a Durham Crown Court plea and trial preparation hearing facing two charges of assaulting his now ex-partner by beating and a single count of making a threat to kill.

One of the assaults was said to have taken place on January 20 and the other two offences arose from an incident on May 5, this year.

The defendant denied all three counts.

Judge James Adkin told his counsel, James Howard, the police footage appeared to show a, “disturbing conversation” between the defendant and the complainant.

Mr Howard told the judge, however: “He remains adamant it was a verbal dispute only and, notwithstanding the unsavoury evidence, he said he believes to gave no impression of making any threats to kill.

The judge said on that basis the case could go forward for trial at the court later this year.

A date for a single day ‘floating’ hearing was fixed for the week starting Monday December 7.

Judge Adkin bailed Mr Maitland, formerly of Craghead, near Stanley, to an address in Gill Street North, Fencehouses.