A man “went the wrong way” about trying to remove a video recording he believed had been taken on which he featured, a court was told.

Andrew Wood, who was said to have a long history of offending, had been making progress for several months on a drug rehabilitation programme imposed after a previous sentence when the latest incident took place, last month.

Durham Crown Court was told Wood entered the home of a couple in Easington Colliery, at 6.30pm on July 7.

He was said to have punched a female householder and kicked her in the back of the head and, also, punched her partner, bursting his lip, before removing a mobile phone.

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The 37-year-old defendant, of Thomas Street, Easington Colliery, denied a charge of robbery arising from the incident, but admitted other counts of assault causing actual bodily harm, assault by beating and theft of the phone.

Chris Baker, prosecuting, said those pleas were acceptable to the Crown, and offered “no evidence” on the robbery charge.

Judge James Adkin, therefore, recorded a formal not guilty verdict to robbery.

Mr Baker said the defendant has a long history of offending, including 81 cases of theft alone, and was last before the court in October last year, also for theft, for which he received a community order.

The court heard the female victim in the incident may be considered “highly vulnerable” as she was someone who had just come out of hospital having suffered with sepsis.

But, Ian Mullarkey, representing Wood, said the woman in question was, “perfectly able to move around and had been drinking that evening with her companion.”

Regarding the outcome of the case, Mr Mullarkey told Judge Adkin: “The defendant is entirely realistic and does not seek a pre-sentence (probation) report.

“He has a bad record, but had been beginning to turn around his life, living in his accommodation for five months, making good progress on the rehabilitation aspect of the previous court order.

“He was finally dealing with his drug addiction, the cause of his offending.

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“There was an altercation between him and the complainants as he thought there was a video recording which he didn’t want to go around on social media.

“Unfortunately, he went about it entirely the wrong way.”

Judge Adkin said the aggravating feature of the incident was entering the woman’s address and committing the offence.

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He said had Wood taken the case to trial he would have received a two-year sentence, but he reduced it to 18 months to mark his guilty pleas.

Judge Adkin also made Wood subject to restraining orders prohibiting him from contacting the victims of the offence or approaching within 100 metres of their respective homes in Easington Colliery.

The order will run for five-years in both cases.