Yatton man James Richardson sentenced after trying to kill his parents with crowbar

James Richardson admitted striking both his parents "with full force" with a crowbar. Credit: ITV News

A man has been sentenced to at least 24 years in custody for attempting to murder his parents with a crowbar at their home in North Somerset.

James Richardson admitted trying to kill his parents Janet and George Richardson in Yatton on 10 April.

The 33-year-old struck both of them "with full force" three times with a crowbar after asking them for money and to collect some property.

Mr Richardson suffered a fractured skull and elbow while his wife was found with the crowbar still lodged in her skull.

Despite a restraining order, Richardson's parents were still supporting him financially. Credit: ITV News

She has only recently been discharged from a nursing home and it is expected she will need long-term care.

During his sentencing hearing, Bristol Crown Court heard Richardson has been in and out of psychiatric units since his mid-teens and suffered from paranoid schizophrenia.

His parents believe his mental illness was triggered by his cannabis use.

He spent a six-year stint in a psychiatric facility between 2013 and 2019, and had been re-admitted for a six-month period at Christmas 2019 after trying to strangle his father.

Richardson had made a number of threats to kill his mother in July 2020, but had been hit with a restraining order rather than being returned to hospital.

Richardson was sentenced at Bristol Crown Court.

People living with him at a hostel in Melksham, Wiltshire, said he often talked of the devil or being the devil, and had fantasies of killing his parents, prosecutor Rachel Drake said.

Despite the restraining order, his parents were still supporting him financially and would have occasional phone contact with the defendant.

Mr George Richardson had been trying to stop him from being evicted from his accommodation.

After the attack, Richardson fled the scene and was found in undergrowth close to where he had been staying in a friend's shed in the village of Kewstoke in Somerset.

Whilst in custody, he flung a cup of hot tea at a police officer, saying "oops".

As well as two counts of attempted murder, Richardson admitted assault by beating of an emergency worker.

'Very dangerous'

Judge Julian Lambert said: "You admitted the offences, saying that you wanted to kill your parents and that you had a vendetta against them."

He added Richardson was "very dangerous" and would remain so "for a very long time".

"You are dangerous, very dangerous, and you will be so for a very long time", he said.

"There is a serious risk to members of the public. Your case demands the longest possible extended license.

"However, a life sentence is not justified in your case."

Richardson will begin his sentence in a mental hospital, and will be transferred to prison upon being deemed well enough.

He will spend at least 24 years in custody, with an extended licence of five years.