Son jailed after drunken street attack on father in Catchgate

Durham Crown Court hears that defendant's latest attack was committed in breach of suspended prison sentence

Durham Crown Court hears that defendant's latest attack was committed in breach of suspended prison sentence

First published in News The Northern Echo: Static HTML image by , Chief Reporter (Durham)

A MAN who is said to have “gone off the rails” in recent years was today (Friday, April 11) jailed for a drunken street attack on his own father.

Lee Henderson, 31, received a sentence totalling 20 months after Durham Crown Court heard it was his third assault on his father, who needed hospital treatment after a previous incident.

The court was told the latest attack, on February 22, came just four days after Henderson was arrested when police were called to the family home in Catchgate, near Stanley, County Durham, following a report of him causing a disturbance in the back garden, refusing to leave.

Liam O’Brien, prosecuting, said on the way to a police station, Henderson lost control after being refused permission to smoke, and tried to get out of the patrol vehicle.

He lashed out, kicking an officer, trying to head butt him, and had to be restrained to keep him under control.

Mr O’Brien said he was apologetic the following day, blaming the amount he drank the previous evening for his behaviour.

Days later, while on bail, Henderson rang his mother asking for a lift, but “took umbrage” when he was refused.

Mr O’Brien said shortly afterwards he approached his father, who was walking his dog, to complain.

He punched him once, knocking him to the ground, where he struck him a further time.

When he was later arrested, again in an intoxicated state, he claimed he only hit his father once.

Mr O’Brien said his parents’ victim statement outlined how their son had, “totally gone off the rails” in recent years.

Although he tried undergoing counselling for drug and mental health issues, it had not proved successful.

Henderson, of Harelaw Gardens, Catchgate, admitted obstructing and assaulting a police officer, plus assaulting his father by beating.

The court heard he has 38 convictions for 98 offences and the recent incidents put him in breach of a previous suspended sentence for making threats to a police officer.

Don MacFaul, for Henderson, said: “It’s a sorry set of circumstances, but, the pre-sentence report outlines he’s clearly remorseful.”

Passing sentence, Judge Neil Clark said: “He may be remorseful, but the problem is he keeps coming back to court due to his behaviour.”

He told Henderson: “In many ways this is a sad case, as I accept you regret what you have done to your family.

“It’s all arisen from your misuse of alcohol and other problems in your life.”

Judge Clark activated 18 months of the suspended sentence and added two months for the February offences.

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