A VIOLENT drunk tried to strangle a woman and attacked her children after storming into their home, a court was told.

Shaun Gordon Winter was more than twice the drink-drive limit when he kicked his way through the door of a house in Darlington on Monday (June 30) evening.

Newton Aycliffe Magistrates' Court was told 30-year-old Winter shouted abuse at the woman as other people in the house tried to restrain him.

In a hearing on Wednesday (July 2), Winter admitted four counts of assault by beating on four separate victims - the woman and three children.

None of the victims can be named for legal reasons.

Winter, who spoke only to confirm his personal details and enter his plea during the 15-minute hearing, also admitted driving his Audi A4 while over the drink-drive limit.

Prosecutor Rachael Dodsworth said witnesses described Winter as using words like "bitch" towards the woman as he attacked her.

Mrs Dodsworth said the level of alcohol in Winter's breath was 79 microgrammes per 100ml of breath. The legal limit is 35 microgrammes per 100ml of breath.

He admitted using violence to gain entry to the woman's home and criminal damage after breaking a shoe rack belonging to the victim.

Mrs Dodsworth described the incident as a "very serious course of events" and said Winter was in a "drunken rage".

She invited magistrates to decline jurisdiction in the case.

The bench duly did so and the case will be sent to Teesside Crown Court, where Winter will be sentenced, on a date to be fixed.

Winter, of Surtees Street, Darlington, also admitted drink-driving and dangerous driving.

His solicitor, Michael Clarke, made no application for bail and Winter was handcuffed and taken into custody until his next court appearance.

He denied a further charge of criminal damage, involving a traffic cone, which was dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service.

A further charge of driving without insurance was also denied.

Mr Clarke said Winter claims to have a valid insurance policy in place.

This assertion has not yet been verified before the court.

Winter's driving insurance status will be verified before the case next comes to court.