A MAN who stole money from his vulnerable housemate is to be considered for a drug treatment and testing order, a court heard yesterday.

Stephen Scott, 25, of Durham Street, Bishop Auckland, admitted a charge of theft and one of putting a person in fear of violence, when he appeared at Teesside Crown Court yesterday.

Shaun Dryden, prosecuting, told the court that Scott, formerly of Greenbank Road, Darlington, had been living in a house in the town's Haughton Road, owned by charity Norcare, and used to house ex-offenders and other vulnerable people.

He said another resident, a pensioner, was befriended by Scott, who pestered the man for cash, walking him to the post office to make sure he got some of the man's pension and benefits money.

Mr Dryden said Scott would also push notes under the man's door, asking for cash, and demanding the notes be given back when the cash was handed over.

Mr Dryden said Scott was eventually asked to leave the home by staff, but continued to return to ask his victim for money.

Rod Hunt, for Scott, said his client had a drug problem and had been in custody for four months.

He said Scott had "received a taste of his own medicine", because while he was in custody at Holme House prison, he experienced difficulties with another prisoner who claimed he owed him money, and had to be moved to another jail.

Judge David Bryant said Scott should be assessed for his suitability to take part in a drug treatment and testing order, and adjourned the case for four weeks.

Scott was released on conditional bail.