A TEENAGER sought “payment in lieu” from a neighbour when a perceived debt was not paid, a court heard.

Connor Lee Pattinson and an unknown female smashed their way into the neighbour’s home in Fencehouses, “armed”, respectively, with an imitation gun and a knife.

Durham Crown Court heard that Pattinson made threats, demanding £160 which he believed had been stolen from his mother several days previously.

Jane Foley, prosecuting, said the victim was alone at home when she heard the living room window being smashed, before the door was forced, at 8pm on January 29, last year.

The intruders, whose faces were covered, entered, with the teenage male carrying a gun over his shoulder and the woman with a silver knife.

Pattinson repeatedly asked: “Where’s the f***ing money?”, while his accomplice grabbed the petrified householder and stabbed her under the left arm, causing a superficial injury.

As she had no money or valuables, Pattinson took the 40-in tv set and firesticks.

A short time later he and the unknown female were seen outside a house further down Pinewood Street.

Police attended and found a trail of blood leading from the house, while a firestick was recovered nearby .

Pattinson’s blood-match was found on a wrench discarded in the rear yard of a neighbouring house.

He was arrested and remained silent in interview, but in his defence statement he confirmed attending the house to ask for the return of money and agreed he smashed the window.

Although the 18-year-old defendant, of Pinewood Street, was originally charged with aggravated burglary, his offer of a guilty plea to affray was accepted by the prosecution.

Tony Davis, mitigating, said his client was only 17 at the time of the incident, with no previous convictions at the time, and claimed his actions that night were, “born out of loyalty to his mother.”

Judge Ray Singh said due to his age and previous good character the defendant would not receive immediate custody.

Passing a 15-month sentence, suspended for two years, the judge ordered Pattinson to undergo 30 rehabilitation activity days with the Probation Service.

He also made him subject of a 120-day alcohol abstinence order, to be monitored with a fitted device, while he must pay £480 compensation for the loss of the tv and firesticks.

Keep up to date with all the latest news on our website, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

You can also follow our dedicated County Durham Facebook page for all the latest in the area by clicking here.

For all the top news updates from right across the region straight to your inbox, sign up to our newsletter here.

Have you got a story for us? Contact our newsdesk on newsdesk@nne.co.uk or contact 01325 505054