Hartlepool man slapped his mother following a row over his finances
A 21-year-old man was arrested after slapping his mother in an argument over his finances.
Aaron Thomas was charged with assault and threatening to destroy property.
Thomas was alleged to have told his mother he would 'petrol bomb the house and smash it up'.
But the threatening to destroy property charge was withdrawn after prosecutor Monique Jarvis-Legg told Teesside Magistrates' Court Thomas's mother Caroline was reluctant to give evidence.
"A witness summons was issued for her attendance," said Ms Jarvis-Legg.
"Ms Thomas has made it clear to me that is the only reason she is at court.
"The defendant still falls to be dealt with for the assault, an offence he admitted.
"This stems from an argument between him and his mother over the state of his finances.
"It began in the garden, progressed to the kitchen, where the defendant slapped his mother on the face.
"She reports no injury."
Ms Jarvis-Legg told the court the slap was an 'isolated incident'.
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"His mother believes he made a mistake, that's how she describes it," added Ms Jarvis Legg.
"Her son has sought help from a mental health charity, and he has been prescribed anti-depressants.
"His mother tells me they are settling down as a family."
Thomas, 21, of Endrick Road, Hartlepool, admitted assault by beating on April 30.
A charge of threatening to destroy property on the same date to which he had earlier pleaded not guilty was withdrawn.
John Relton, defending, said: "I am grateful for the very fair way this case has been opened.
"I don't want to say a great deal more because it would only be repeating what's already been said.
"Mr Thomas is remorseful, and I think he has genuinely learned a lesson from this experience.
"I would observe that the case may be plastered all over the local papers which helps neither Mr Thomas nor his mother."
Thomas was sentenced to a conditional discharge of 12 months and he was ordered to pay £105 costs at £10 a fortnight.