Psychotic Notts man launched 'savage and prolonged' attack on vulnerable dad

A psychotic Notts man who launched a "savage and prolonged" attack on his vulnerable father, in which he broke both his arms and his leg, has been locked up after a trial.

Thursday, 3rd December 2020, 4:57 pm

James Sweeney used a sharp screwdriver-like weapon to stab his dad in his own bed, at the flat they shared on Northwood, Worksop, on May 25 last year.

His father was kicked with a shod-foot and left with ten broken bones, including ribs on both sides, and his breathing was compromised.

The 67-year-old spent 60 days in intensive care and is now incapable of looking after himself, Nottingham Crown Court heard. He was released to a care home, with a diagnosis of dementia.

James Sweeney

Sweeny, aged 39, denied grievous bodily harm with intent, but was convicted by a jury this week.

The court heard he served a two-year prison sentence after breaking a man's arm who remonstrated with him about his behaviour in a shop.

And the day before he attacked his father, he was released from a 14-day sentence for assaulting an emergency worker.

David Outterside, mitigating, said most of Sweeney's previous convictions were for dishonesty, but his violent offences were more recent, "which dovetails with his deteriorating mental health."

He said the defendant failed to take medication in what was a "sad and tragic case" of two vulnerable people, with their own support issues, cohabiting.

Sweeney "fell very sadly into Class A drug abuse" as a teenager and had battled with addiction over the course of his life, the court heard on Thursday.

When taking his medication, he did his best to look after his father, Mr Outterside added.

Referring to the "dreadful delusions" Sweeney suffers from, he said: "He sees demons. He sees people turning into animals.

"This is not drug-induced. It is a mental health condition that is appalling to live with."

Judge John Burgess told Sweeney he posed a risk of serious harm to the public because of the escalation in his offending, and imposed an extended 11-year sentence. Sweeney will serve two thirds before he is eligible for parole.

Detective Sergeant Matthew Grant, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “Sweeney is clearly a dangerous individual with a propensity for violence and I’m pleased that our detailed evidence-led investigation has now led to him being removed from our streets.”

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