A MENTAL health patient swore at a prosecutor after being sentenced for threatening his former psychiatrist with a baseball bat.

John Edward Butterworth told Crown Prosecution Service solicitor Blair Martin to “f*** off” on his way out of Darlington Magistrates’ Court.

Butterworth’s solicitor, Laura Saunders-Jerrom, came back into court and apologised on his behalf, telling magistrates she had told Butterworth he was in danger of being charged with contempt of court.

Magistrates and Mr Blair accepted the apology and no further action was taken.

Butterworth was given a 12- month conditional discharge after magistrates heard he had visited the Darlington home of his former psychiatrist, Dr Leslie Burton, armed with a baseball bat.

He had tapped the bat on one hand, asking if he could come into the house for a chat.

Butterworth had his foot in the door, preventing the doctor from closing it, the court heard. The doctor eventually managed to shut him out, then shouted upstairs to his wife to call police. Officers picked up Butterworth 15 minutes later outside the Spar shop in Duke Street. Officers could smell alcohol and breath-tested the 48-year-old, who was two-and-a-half times the legal limit.

Mr Martin, prosecuting, said Butterworth told police he had known Dr Burton for 20 years.

“He said he wanted to scare the doctor,” Mr Martin told the court. “He said the doctor had been nasty to him previously.

He also said the doctor deserved to be hit around the head with a bat.”

Butterworth, of Quaker Lane, Darlington, admitted drink-driving, no insurance and without the correct licence as well as possessing an offensive weapon.

Mrs Saunders-Jerrom, mitigating, said her client had a number of mental health problems.

As well as the conditional discharge, Butterworth was banned from driving for two years and ordered to pay £85 costs.

They also made a restraining order, preventing him from contacting the doctor or the doctor’s wife and banning him from entering their street unless he was on public transport returning from a hospital appointment.