After 20 years of resenting him for being a convicted paedophile, a tormented son tried to bludgeon his elderly father to death in a nursing home.
Daniel Green, 31, visited his dad David, 78, at Ravenswing Manor care home in Blackburn, Lancs on March 29 this year.
At around 8.15pm, staff heard someone shouting for a member of staff in the TV lounge. When they went through, they found an old man sat in an armchair covered in blood and a broken statuette on the floor nearby.
According to prosecutor Jeremy Grout-Smith, Daniel calmly said at the scene:
I tried to kill him, I strangled him but I have small hands. I hit him repeatedly over the head with a porcelain figure. He sexually abused children when I was a child and I have not been able to vent my anger about it.
I hit him three to five times with a statuette, but it shattered. Get the police. I can’t even kill someone – rather pathetic really.
Care workers who listened in horror as Daniel recounted his murderous actions said there was ‘blood everywhere, splattered on the walls and on his face’.
After an ambulance and police arrived, Daniel told officers he wasn’t on drink or drugs – he simply wanted to ‘inflict a lot of pain’.
The emergency services concluded that David wasn’t in a life threatening condition, and after a trip to hospital it was confirmed he’d recover from his injuries.
To this, Daniel said:
Disappointed, disappointing effort, won’t have to think about him anymore, will I? I tried to kill my father, I smashed him over the head with a porcelain figure but a piece of porcelain appears to be stuck in my hand.
David had been admitted to the care home in 2018 with advanced dementia; between then and the incident, Daniel had reportedly only visited his father six or seven times.
Mr Grout-Smith explained the pair had lived together since Daniel was around 13 or 14 years old in Blackburn. They were left on their own after Daniel’s mother suddenly passed away around 10 years ago, and as David progressively became more unwell, Daniel was more ill-equipped to deal with it.
Preston Crown Court was told David had been locked up for sexual abuse charges against two children in 2001 – a major factor in Daniel’s spontaneous attack.
Defence lawyer Rachel Woods said:
This is a tragic case for all concerned and it was a spontaneous act which happened out of a backlog of frustration and resentment for his father.
There had not been any planning at all to this offence. His father had suffered from dementia and was living previously in rented accommodation with the defendant.
Looking at his own father’s background and the knowledge that when he was a child, he had known of his father’s misdemeanours, it doesn’t bode well for a healthy relationship.
Ms Woods’ defence of Daniel was that he’d made no attempt to lessen the charges against him – he was completely frank at and after the incident, and knows he’s facing significant time in prison.
Ms Woods added:
The defendant was finding it difficult to juggle the relationship with his father who he had originally held in high regard, with the knowledge of the offences his father had committed in the past – that’s what he had to deal with.
This was the one and only time he has ever really lost control and vented his frustration. It was an anger over those offences committed in the past.
Today (August 21), Daniel was sentenced to eight years and eight months in prison for attempted murder.
Sentencing Judge Mark Brown explained that while the court accepted Daniel’s resentment for his father’s horrific actions as mitigating factors in the incident, it was still ‘spontaneous’ and ‘sustained’ attempt to kill.
Judge Brown told Daniel:
You harboured resentment against your father for the sexual abuse of two children. He received a prison sentence and at the time you were about 13 and these offences destroyed the adulation you once had for him.
You carried the burden for a long time and anger and resentment grew significantly after he developed dementia and the relationship deteriorated a great deal. Your anger increased and manifested into an explosive attack upon him.
The judge then conceded that Daniel had no history of violent conduct and that this attack was an isolated incident that saw a weight lifted from his shoulders.
Judge Brown added:
The prosecution accept this was a spontaneous attempt to kill, but there was some harm. The fact your father was particularly vulnerable is a significant factor. This was a sustained assault including the use of a weapon.
If the figure hadn’t smashed, its likely you would have continued. The feeling of resentment and anger towards your father are mitigation factors, albeit he did not commit the offence on you and his criminal conduct was a very long time ago.
If you’ve been affected by any of these issues, and want to speak to someone in confidence regarding the welfare of a child contact the NSPCC on 0808 800 5000. If you are a child seeking advice and support call Childline for free on 0800 1111.
After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BCTJ-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He’s now left his Scottish homelands and took up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.