A TEENAGER has been put behind bars - at his own request.

Nathan Patton, 16, was sentenced to a 12-month detention and training order by a judge on Teesside for three breaches of an anti-social behaviour order imposed last October, and additionally, for handling stolen goods.

He was made the subject of the order after driving 20 families from their homes at Hemlington, near Middlesbrough.

However, since the order was imposed, Patton has received a stream of "racially threatening mail", solicitor Jane Scott told District Judge James Prowse.

The lawyer, defending Patton, of Enderby Close, Hemlington, Middlesbrough, said: "He would rather be locked up than go through everything he has been through in the past couple of months."

She said the breaches, which occurred in November, the month after the order was made, had not involved any criminal behaviour.

The judge told Patton: "You have made it clear you are not likely to cooperate with any non-custodial sentence."