A 'SPOILT brat' who was told he would not be locked up if he stayed out of trouble, led a settled lifestyle and got a job was given a reprieve by a judge who told him: "Two out of three ain't bad."

Connor Stephens received a deferred sentence in September for threatening to chop up his mother with a meat cleaver – with the promise of avoiding jail if he sorted out his life.

The Teesside Crown Court judge at the time said Stephens had "behaved like a child in a massive temper tantrum" when he could not get what he wanted.

He returned to the court to face his fate, where Judge Sean Morris said: "This was in effect this man kicking off in his mother's house and behaving in an appalling way."

The judge told him: "I have described your behaviour already – it was like a spoilt brat – an utter disgrace, and you were extremely lucky to be given the chance you were.

"You have honoured two of the three deferment conditions. I know what it's like in this neck of the woods to try to get work, so I'm not going to hold that against you. Two out of three ain't bad."

The 22-year-old was given a 16-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, with unpaid community work for offences of affray, assault, criminal damage and theft, which he admitted.

The court heard details of his bizarre behaviour at the family home in Colburn, North Yorkshire, in which first smashed his mobile phone in a rage after speaking to his girlfriend, then demanded his mother buy him a new one.

Stephens stormed from the house, smashed a plant pot, went back inside and repeated his demands for a new handset, smashed the oven door, and lashed out at his mother who was holding her three-year-old son, who was hit in the face.

Mr Newcombe said Stephens "continued making childish demands" and switched off the electricity when his mother tried to use the landline to call the police, saying: "Get me the phone, and I'll stop."

As she finally got through to the emergency services, her son left the house with the meat cleaver, yelling: "Get off the phone otherwise I'll chop you up and slit your throat."

Stephens also stole her purse before police arrived, and apologised after he was arrested.

Since the incident in June 2016, he has lived in bail hostels on Tyneside and in Scunthorpe, but told the court he can go to stay with grandparents in Howden-le-Wear, County Durham.

His barrister Tom Mitchell said he was now settled with a partner in Houghton-le-Spring with family commitments, and added: "He hopes he has turned the corner and he won't be back, because if he is he knows what he is going to get."