A JUDGE is seeking an assessment from a psychiatrist over the sentence he passes on a man who has repeatedly threatened to harm or even kill his own mother.

David Hutchinson was arrested after a minor assault on his mother, twisting her wrist, when he prised a phone from her grasp at her home in Murton, County Durham, in August last year.

He also stated he would burn her house down, with him and her in it, threats he repeated by video link from prison at his first appearance before magistrates, on August 30.

Hutchinson, then of Woods Terrace, Murton, admitted assault by beating, threats to damage or destroy property and five counts of making threats to kill, and the case was sent to Durham Crown Court for sentence.

The defendant is deemed to have some form of personality disorder, but, psychiatric and psychological assessments give conflicting views as to the level of risk of Hutchinson carrying out his threats, when released into the community.

While a psychiatrist believed there is a, “significant risk”, a psychologist believed Hutchinson may be using the threats as his, “ticket back into prison.”

Hutchinson, 29 yesterday, intervened, saying over the video link from Durham Prison: “I do mean these threats and I will carry them out like you have just said.”

Judge Christopher Prince said he was considering passing a sentence under the Mental Health Act, which may include Hutchinson being detained in secure accommodation.

“I have to have regard for his mother’s safety. It may be the best way to achieve that is to allow treatment, maybe under a restriction order, in the light of the defendant’s very direct, it would appear, statement of intent.”

Judge Prince adjourned to allow psychiatric assessment as to Hutchinson’s suitability for such a hospital order.