A woman who tried to force a businessman to hand over £10,000 in cash after conning her way into his home is on trial for aggravated burglary.

Shannon Nimmo knew her potential victim and turned up at his door unannounced with another man before asking to use his toilet.

The 24-year-old and her co-accused Adam Smith managed to persuade the man to let them into his home before he was threatened with a large knife and a bottle of ammonia.

Teesside Crown Court heard how the pair were caught on CCTV outside the house in Middleton St George before threatening to stab him and spray the alkaline solution in his face.

Eleanor Durdy, prosecuting, told the court that the defendant was known to the alleged victim through a connection with a close relation but the male was not known to him.

Ms Durdy asked the alleged victim what happened once the pair were inside his home.

He replied: “He pulled out a large knife and put a bottle of ammonia on the side – he was getting quite agitated and the dog was snarling at him.”

Asked to describe what happened next, he said: “It was a small bottle with the top off and it was quite smelly. I didn’t know if it was ammonia, it was just what he said.

“Shannon asked for some money. I asked her what the money was for and she said ‘it didn’t matter what it was for’.

“Then she said she needed £10,000 because there was going to be a lot of trouble if they didn’t get it.”

Jurors heard how the defendant claimed that the alleged victim’s relative was facing investigation for sending sexual messages to an underage girl.

The witness said: “She did say ‘just hive me the money or there will be trouble – she was talking to her boyfriend and asking him to calm down a bit.

“She said ‘if you don’t give us the money, we will be told to stab you five times and throw ammonia in your face’.”

The court heard how the man’s daughter had contacted him when she was sent a link from her home’s security system and she was concerned about what was happening.

The man said he messaged her asking her to call the police which did before returning home with her boyfriend.

See more court stories from The Northern Echo by clicking here

Get all the latest crime and court updates, for less than the price of a coffee, with a Premium Plus digital subscription to The Northern Echo. Click here

Jurors heard how the defendant and Smith were arrested at the scene.

Under cross examination from defence counsel, Ian West, the alleged victim strenuously denied that he knew his client as he sold her Class A drugs.

He quizzed the witness about whether it was Nimmo's co-accused who made the threats and demands for money alone. The witness replied: "It was definitely her".

Nimmo, of Brougham Street, Darlington, denies aggravated burglary following the incident on July 30 last year.

The trial continues.