A JUDGE lived up to a pledge to a reforming drug user who has complied with conditions of a deferred sentence.

Judge Jonathan Carroll adjourned sentencing Dean Kenyon last May over a drug-fuelled attack on a police officer, to see if he maintains progress trying to overcome his addiction.

But he warned Kenyon that a custodial outcome remained hanging over him in the intervening months as he continued with his drug rehabilitation efforts.

The incident outside his family home in Parkside, Seaham, on April 1, involved an intoxicated Kenyon threatening police and it took four officers to put detain him and apply handcuffs.

One of the officers suffered cuts and grazes to fingers and a knee during the melee.

Kenyon admitted common assault on an emergency worker, obstructing police, and using threatening words and behaviour.

It put the 32-year-old defendant in breach of a previous two-year suspended sentence, imposed for burglary at Durham Crown Court in November 2018.

But he was told to comply with the assistance offered by the Probation Service and attend drug therapy sessions, as part of the order.

The court was told that he has engaged well, other than the incident in April.

Reserving sentence to himself, Judge Carroll deferred sentence, but stated that Kenyon must remain on the rehabilitation programme imposed at the previous hearing in the meantime.

On his return to the court, eight months after the deferment, his counsel, Amrit Jandoo, said Kenyon is on the verge of being accepted for a residential rehabilitation programme in Reading and is just awaiting final confirmation after going through a lengthy selection criteria.

Judge Jonathan Carroll told Kenyon: “The only reason I didn’t send you to prison there and then at the last hearing was that you had already started the drug rehabilitation process and it’s in society’s interests that we get you long-term clear of drugs.

“I obviously have to impose something for an assault on an emergency worker, but, in the circumstances, I’ll give you the minimum length of unpaid work, of 50 hours, as part of a 12-month community order.”

But the judge said the unpaid work would be suspended if Kenyon attends the residential rehabilitation programme.