A man has denied making knife threats and assaulting his father in his own home.

Reece Niles is to stand trial next year facing four charges arising from an incident at his father, Alan’s, accommodation in Easington Colliery, on Monday, October 2.

Appearing at a Durham Crown Court plea hearing, via video link from the city’s nearby jail, where he is on remand, the 25-year-old defendant denied charges of threatening with a bladed article in a private place, causing a belief that there was a risk of serious harm, making a threat to kill, assault by beating, and damaging property.

The damaged property was said to be a coffee table, which the defendant said belonged to him and on which items present were his belongings.

A timetable was set for the submission of evidence in the case, on behalf of the prosecution, by November 22, with a full defence statement by December 20.

All parties agreed to a date for the start of what is believed to be a trial of two days’ duration, beginning on Tuesday March 26.

The defendant, of Guthrum Place, Newton Aycliffe, was remanded to remain in custody, to appear before the court for the start of the trial, that day.

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Judge James Adkin told the defendant: "You have pleaded 'not guilty' on an indictment alleging bad behaviour to your father and the next stage will be for a jury to decide.

"That will happen at this court on March 26, next year.

"You will be produced from your cell for that hearing on that day."