TWO brothers have been given a restraining order after a court heard they regularly harassed and assaulted a former friend.

Christopher and Daniel Legge, from Darlington, appeared before Darlington Magistrates' Court yesterday and pleaded guilty to assaulting John Parkinson.

The court heard that Christopher Legge, 22, of Holgate Moor Green, used to be a close friend of Mr Parkinson.

The victim's family welcomed Christopher into their home when he needed somewhere to stay.

Following an argument, the friends parted company and the court heard that Christopher and his younger brother, Daniel, 18, of Melsonby Crescent, would verbally abuse Mr Parkinson whenever they saw him.

Sharon Nevison, prosecuting, said: "On March 21, Mr Parkinson was in The Cornmill Centre shopping with his mother and young brother when he saw the brothers. He became concerned because they had been verbally abusive towards him in the past."

The brothers attacked Mr Parkinson before running off.

After talking to the centre's security guards, Mr Parkinson decided to continue his shopping.

But on leaving the centre, he was set on again by the pair and he sustained numerous bruises and cuts.

The order will be effective until further notice. The brothers were also fined £150 each and both were made to pay £55 compensation and £55 court costs.