A MAN who took mobile phones from teenagers in lieu of an alleged £5 debt was warned he could be risking jail if there is any repeat.

William Stobbs, 23, threatened the two 15-year-olds at allotments in East Stanley, on May 19, before taking the phones, worth £500, which were later returned.

Durham Crown Court heard he was initially accused of robbery, but after a case review, the Crown dropped the charge.

Stobbs, of Clavering Place, Stanley, admitted two thefts and common assaults, plus causing a fear of violence.

The court heard Stobbs has no previous convictions of a similar nature, and was on medication at the time which had an effect on his actions.

Passing a 12-month community order, with probation supervision, Judge Christopher Prince told him if fails to comply, he would put himself at risk of a prison sentence.