A man said to take badly to criticism, particularly in drink, snapped on his return home from an engagement party, a court was told.

Gary McAdoo, 36, had been with other family members celebrating his sister’s engagement on the night of Saturday September 23, this year.

Durham Crown Court was told that according to his mother her son does not usually consume much alcohol, but that night he had quite a few pints of beer or lager, plus some gin.

His mother went home slightly earlier than her son, but when he got back he was described as being “upset”.

The Northern Echo: Gary McAdoo jailed at Durham Crown Court for drunken attack on mother in her own home

Jonathan Harley, prosecuting, told the court: “He can take badly to criticism when drinking alcohol.

“That had happened when he was out and she (his mother) said he should go to bed.”

But McAdoo became aggressive at this, making unpleasant remarks before going to his room.

Mr Harley said his mother stayed downstairs for a while before going to bed, where she was unable to get to sleep, as she heard shouting and swearing from her son’s room.

She got up and went to his room to ask him to be quiet, to which he told her to shut her “f***ing” mouth.

He then launched a tirade of abuse and was asked to leave, but McAdoo said he was, “going nowhere”.

Mr Harley said the defendant continued to shout and swear aggressively, before slapping his mother to her face with his left hand.

He then pushed her with two hands to the bedroom wall and she felt scared for her safety due to her son’s unpredictability.

Although she tried to leave his room and make for her own bedroom to ring for the police, he pulled her with both hands, causing her to fall to the floor.

She tried to flee again but he pushed her with both hands on to her bed and punched her to the cheek, before placing his hand around her throat and threatened to choke his mother.

Mr Harley said she estimated he maintained his grip for between 30 and 40 seconds as she felt she was going to pass out.

He then left the room and went back to bed, enabling her to ring 999, but then she heard him smashing things up, including his fish tank and smashed a cup off the wall.

She estimated the whole incident lasted about 20 minutes, which included him kicking his mother’s door as she was cowering awaiting the arrival of police.

When they did reach the scene, police arresting McAdoo found a small snap-bag of cannabis on him.

In her victim statement his 57-year-old mother said she was frightened to remain at her home in case he returns, but she was equally fearful of going out and bumping into him.

When interviewed, the defendant confirmed he had been to the engagement party before coming home, but had little memory after that, as everything was, “a blur”.

McAdoo, of Chaplin Street, in Seaham, admitted charges of intentional strangulation and assault on his mother, criminal damage and possession of a class B drug.

The court was told he has five convictions for ten past offences, including some of violence, criminal damage, public order and resisting police.

Shada Mellor, for the defendant, told the court he now has a diagnosis for ADHD (attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder) said to date back to 2014, which has had a, “considerable impact on his life”, specifically in the manner he processes information and loses control, in situations, as in this case, where he receives criticism.

“To his credit he acknowledges that his offending behaviour is linked to alcohol, having not used alcohol for several years.

“On this occasion, of his sister’s engagement, he decided to have alcohol, but he was monitoring what he drank and after the first few pints felt fine.

“But he was bought a ‘shot’ and after that he has no memory of events until he woke up in police custody.

“He’s appalled at himself that he’s hurt anybody, but particularly his own mother.

“Unfortunately, alcohol, mixed with his own difficulties, can be a very bad combination for him.”

Miss Mellor said while on remand in custody he has taken “positive steps”, detoxifying from cannabis use and being unable to use other substances, while undergoing educational work, and ensuring he is on the waiting list for mental health support.

Judge Jo Kidd said the offences were committed against his own mother and his own home, all, “because you chose to drink to excess, which had the consequences of you beginning to become aggressive, argumentative and threatening.”

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She said he, “clearly lost all emotional control”, choking his mother to the point where she thought she was going to be killed.

Judge Kidd told the defendant: “You chose to consume alcohol despite knowing the effect it has had on you previously, while also under the influence of cannabis.”

Imposing an 18-month prison sentence, she said she would not impose a restraining order as there had been no request from the defendant’s mother.