Two men who have admitted charges relating to acts of violence, in separate hearings at court this week, are to be sentenced next month, with prison terms the possible outcome in both cases.

Joseph James McGregor appeared at a plea hearing at Durham Crown Court last July and denied a charge of causing a man grievous bodily harm, with intent to do so.

It arose from an incident at the alleged victim’s home, in Bishop Auckland, on May 13, 2022.

But with a trial date looming in the case, next week, the 21-year-old defendant appeared back before the court, on Wednesday (March 13), for a further plea hearing in the case.

The Northern Echo: Case of defendant in Shildon house siege adjourned until April 9 at Durham Crown Court to allow for

A second count of inflicting grievous bodily harm was put to him, as an alternative to the original charge, and he pleaded guilty.

Paul Cleasby, prosecuting, said that the plea, which was indicated to the Crown by defence lawyers last week, was considered “acceptable”, ruling out the need for the case to go to trial.

He said both the Crown Prosecution Service and the complainant in the case were informed before the decision was taken not to contest the original more serious charge.

Tony Davis, representing the defendant, asked for the preparation of a background report on him by the Probation Service before he is sentenced.

Agreeing to adjourn for the report to be compiled for the court, Judge Nathan Adams told McGregor: “As a result of matters you now admit the next stage is for you to be sentenced.

“I make it clear to you that in adjourning for the report I give no indication what the sentence will be, that will be up to the judge who sentences you.”

Judge Adams bailed the 21-year-old defendant, of High Bondgate, Bishop Auckland, to return to court to be sentenced on Wednesday, April 10.

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In an unrelated case, 22-year-old Jack Thompson, of Fell Road, Pelton Fell, near Chester-le-Street, faced a three-count indictment at a plea hearing at the court, on Thursday (March 14).

He admitted assaulting a man, causing him actual bodily harm, intentional strangulation of the same complainant and damaging property, the victim’s hearing aid, all said to have taken place on April 1, last year.

Mr Davis, who also represented Thompson, said his client was of previous good character and indicated his likely guilty pleas when he appeared earlier, at the magistrates’ court.

Given his previous lack of offences, Mr Davis said the court may also be assisted by a background probation report in Thompson’s case.

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Judge Adams told the defendant: “I’ll adjourn so the Probation Service can prepare a report on you.

“Intentional strangulation usually carries with it a prison sentence.”

Bailing Thompson to assist in preparation of the report, Judge Adams adjourned the case until a sentencing hearing at the court, on Thursday April 11.