A drug addict who strangled his mother when she refused to hand over more money to fund his habit was in a ‘manic’ state after not sleeping for four days, court hears.

George Smith made his mother’s life a misery when he stole her iPhone on three occasions to pawn for drug money before hitting with her a slipper and grabbing her by the throat.

The 28-year-old also took her car without permission and refused to take a roadside drug swipe when he was stopped by police.

Teesside Crown Court heard how Smith’s mother had managed to retrieve her mobile phone after paying the pawnbrokers cash for it but called the police when he assaulted her on October 24 last year.

Nigel Soppitt, prosecuting, said: “He stole her mobile phone again and took her car promising to pay for fuel. It seems he returned in the car and started pestering his mother again for money.

“He became more and more agitates as he was presumably in the need of more drugs. He has then thrown a slipper in her face, which she says caused her pain.

“Then he grabs her neck with his right hand and squeezes it tightly for a few seconds. He was being abusive and calling her a ‘little b**ch and little baby’.

“She was terrified.”

Smith, of no fixed abode but formerly of Great Broughton, North Yorkshire, pleaded guilty to ten offences, including intentional strangulation, assault, three thefts and five motoring related offences.

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Gabrielle Wilks, mitigating, said her client was deeply ashamed of his behaviour and was hoping to return to his parents’ home if his sentence was suspended.

She said: “The defendant is a drug addict and has been for almost half of his life. He started taking drugs when he was 14 and is currently on a methadone script.

“He committed these offences to fund his drug habit.”

The court heard how Smith had not slept for four days due to amount of cocaine and heroin he had taken.

Recorder Felicity Davies adjourned the sentencing hearing until February 13 to give the probation service sufficient time to check whether Smith’s mother would be willing for him to return home.