A MAN who threw a television, stereo and ashtray at the mother of his three-month-old child was depressed, a court was told yesterday.

Michael Wanless, 21, of Station Road, Darlington, attacked his 17-year-old girlfriend after she refused to let him stay the night at her home because of previous incidents, the town's magistrates' court was told.

Peter Smith, prosecuting, said the pair had been to the cinema and then for a drink on February 11.

He said: "He asked to stay. She refused. An argument began. He picked up an ashtray, threw it at her, which hit her on the right side of her head. He then picked up the music system and threw that at her, hitting her in the chest."

He said Wanless threw the TV, which hit her on the head, then pulled over a wardrobe.

Mr Smith said: "She tried to lock herself in the bathroom for safety, but the defendant got there and pulled her into the bedroom and was still shouting abuse at her. He grabbed her by the neck and they struggled.

"She fell to the ground and as she fell the defendant stamped on her chest and stomach."

As Wanless left the house, he stole a set of keys and dropped them down a drain.

Mr Smith said the girl suffered chest pains, bruising and bumps on the head.

Wanless pleaded guilty to assault, criminal damage and theft. Representing himself, he told magistrates: "I have done bad things and everything but I'm going through a lot of depression."

The bench adjourned the case for reports with a steering towards custody.

Wanless was granted conditional bail. He will be sentenced at Newton Aycliffe Magistrates' Court on March 15.