A YOUTH who terrorised a 12-year-old boy after dragging him in a subway, is behind bars for just over six months.

Burnley Crown Court heard how Daniel Porter, 21, threatened to kill the child before walking off leaving the youngster in tears. He was caught when he alerted the police and an officer arrested the defendant as he walked past them.

Porter was sent to jail for six months and must first serve the 14-day unexpired portion of a previous term.

He was told by Recorder Beverley Lunt he must have subjected the victim to a terrifying experience. She added at the time, Porter had been on licence and only an immediate custodial sentence was justified. The defendant, of Dall Street, Burnley, had earlier admitted affray. Alexandra Simmons, prosecuting, said the complainant was walking to the bus station in Burnley when he was approached by the defendant who asked him for 50 pence. The boy refused. Porter then grabbed the child by the arm and dragged him into a nearby subway. The schoolboy walked on to the bus stop, but was again approached by Porter who told him to hand over his hat or he would kill him. The defendant held out his hand and the 12-year-old thought he might have a knife and began sobbing. Porter demanded the boy hand over his bag and coat, but the boy continued to cry and refused. Porter walked off and the boy set off on his way to his father's workplace. He stopped a police officer and told him what had happened.

Miss Simmons said the victim gave a description of the defendant and he was arrested when he walked past. Under caution, Porter said he didn't do it, but in interview he admitted asking the boy for his jacket and saying he would kill him, but said he had been joking. Porter apologised and said he was sorry when he was told the boy was only 12.

Martin Hackett, defending, said the offence was committed in drink.

Porter had a long-standing alcohol problem and had been drinking since he was 12 years old.

He had found it more and more difficult to control.

The options for the court were either custody or offering the defendant the opportunity perhaps for the last time to try and deal with his problem.

Mr Hackett added if the defendant went to custody, it would be his first taste of adult prison and he would mix with people of a more criminally sophisticated outlook.