A former soldier who launched a savage attack on his mother in her own home as he “snapped” after downing vodka has been given a six-year prison sentence.
During the ordeal, at her address in Wigton on 23 April, 41-year-old Paul Neil Fearon told Wendy Fearon: “I know how to kill people.”
Carlisle Crown Court heard Mrs Fearon, now aged 61, had initially asked him to help her partner with gardening work but there was no response and he remained in a bedroom using his phone. When his mother made a second request minutes later, Fearon — suddenly and out of nowhere — charged towards her, shouting and swearing.
“He threw her on to the ground and proceeded to attack her,” said prosecutor Dan Bramhall.
Fearon grabbed his mother by her clothing, forcing her on to a bed and placing both hands around her throat while saying: “I can kill you if I want.”
As she lay defenceless, Fearon delivered a flurry of punches to the left side of her body. “During the incident, Mrs Fearon details she was petrified of her son, and thought he was going to kill her,” said Mr Bramhall. “Not least because of the look that was in his eyes.”
As Mrs Fearon screamed for help, she was able to flee the bedroom as her son’s fist became stuck in a door he was smashing. She was detained in hospital for several days having suffered broken ribs, a punctured lung and chest cavity bleed which meant a drain was fitted.
She remained in pain weeks after the incident, and in a moving victim impact statement outlined the profound physical and mental impact of the attack. “As a mother this has been a difficult process,” she stated. “I do not want to see him again which is difficult for any mother to say. I feel that if I see him again I will be scared in the same way I was during the incident.”
Police who spoke to Fearon in the immediate aftermath noted blood smeared on his knuckles.
Fearon, latterly of Stricklandgate, Penrith, initially denied causing his mum grievous bodily harm with intent to do so. But as he was about to stand trial in front of a jury, he charged his plea to guilty.
Judge Guy Mathieson heard the attack occurred only three days after Fearon was handed a suspended prison sentence at the crown court for a cocaine supply crime. Newspaper coverage of that sentencing hearing had sparked a row at home which led to him drinking vodka before he then “snapped”.
“Quite why you flipped on that particular day is not clear,” said Judge Mathieson, who noted that Fearon had struggled to transition over several years from a distinguished Army career to civilian life.
“In those moments you took out all your frustration and anger upon her in a flurry of punches. I have no doubt that in that moment, whoever (you thought) you were hitting, it wasn’t your mother. She was bearing the brunt of this frustration.”
The judge banned Fearon from contacting his mother until further notice, telling him: “Steer clear, let things heal and hopefully matters will be better in the future.”
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