A MAN whose mood changed while drinking at his mother’s house attacked a couple befriended in a pub earlier.

Durham Crown Court was told Matthew Armstrong punched a woman on the nose and then bit and stabbed her partner as attempts were made to restrain him.

Armstrong, 24, who has a previous assault on his record, was jailed for 15-months for his latest violent outburst, which arose out of the blue after several guests were invited back to his mother’s house following pub closing time, on October 24, last year.

The defendant and his mother earlier met the couple, previously strangers, as they sat nearby in the Cobblers’ Hall, in Newton Aycliffe.

Joe Hedworth, prosecuting, said they later invited them back to the property where Armstrong was living with his mother, at the time.

Mr Hedworth said en-route they called into a supermarket to buy some alcohol and bumped into three other acquaintances, who were also invited to the house.

The otherwise peaceful mood at the house was shattered when Armstrong, who was worse the wear for drink, started saying: “You don’t know who I am”, becoming more agitated when some of those present laughed at him.

Despite his mother’s efforts to calm him in the kitchen he ran at and punched the woman on the nose, causing an immediate loss of blood.

He began waving a kitchen knife and others present tried to restrain him, but the punch victim’s partner was bitten on the arm and suffered a small knife cut to his back in the process.

The couple were treated for what were superficial injuries at hospital.

Armstrong, who ran from the house, was arrested in Central Avenue, Newton Aycliffe, early the following morning.

In interview he made “no comment” replies.

But the defendant, of Marston Court, Richmond, admitted three assaults, causing actual bodily harm, at a hearing on February 5, ten days before a scheduled trial.

Ismael Uddin, for Armstrong, said his “loss of self-control” that night was perpetuated by his intoxication and use of substances.

“He tells me all his life he’s been taking drugs and drinking, which has been the cause of his problems, although until this offence he has always held down a job.”

Jailing him, Mr Justice Nicholas Lavender also made him subject of a five-year restraining order prohibiting him from contacting or approaching either of the couple he assaulted that night.