Schoolboy stabbed dad in back after parents caught him flouting lockdown to visit girl

News

A teenage boy who stabbed his dad in the back after his parents caught him flouting lockdown rules by going to visit a girl has been spared jail.

The 15-year-old plunged a blade into his father’s back as he bent down to empty the dishwasher at their family home on Friday, April 10.

A court heard the boy was angry his parents had brought him back from the house of a female friend he had been visiting in breach of lockdown regulations.

The schoolboy, who cannot be named because of his age, first struck his dad with a hairdryer in his bedroom after an argument broke out on their return home.

He then stabbed his father in the kitchen with a knife, which punctured his lung, before fleeing from the property in Coventry.

The teenager, now 16, was arrested an hour later and was charged with wounding and possession of knife, which he pleaded guilty to at Warwick Crown Court.

But he avoided jail on Monday, having already spent six months in custody on remand, and was handed a youth rehabilitation order for 18 months.

He was also made subject to an 8pm-6am three month curfew, banned from entering Coventry during that time and ordered to take part in a violent offenders’ programme.

Sentencing, Judge Sylvia de Bertodano said: “You are here because of what happened on April 10.

“You were living with your mother and father. Things were not going well, and the lockdown wasn’t helping.

“It ended up in you being in an altercation with your father in which both of you hit each other.

“He then went downstairs, and you go into the kitchen where he’s emptying the dishwasher, and you took a knife from it and stabbed him to the back.

“It punctured his lung.

“This could have been very, very much more serious indeed, and it’s luck rather than anything else that it wasn’t.

“If you use a knife in that way you can injure someone very, very seriously, and you and he are both fortunate it didn’t.

“From what I have read about you, things went alright for you until you were about 11 and you went to secondary school and things started to go wrong.

“You had great difficulty at school and difficulties at home.

“But there is a very good chance that if you pull things together now you can pass your 18th birthday and put all this behind you.”

The court heard the family tensions exploded into violence after the boy’s parents had reported him missing when he left home.

It was found he was staying at the house of a female friend, in breach of Covid-19 restrictions at the time, and his parents went to get him and took him home.

Prosecutor Tom Kenning said: “He was clearly not happy. He started shouting and went up to his room and was smashing things up.

“His father went up to try to calm him down, and he hit his father with a hairdryer.

“His father went into the kitchen and was emptying the dishwasher when he felt a sharp pain in his back.

“He was stabbed to the back with a knife the boy had taken from the dishwasher.”

Mr Kenning said the teen then called for a taxi and, as his mother tried to stop him from leaving, he went outside with the knife still in his hand.

The cab driver refused to open the car door so the youth then walked away and disposed of the knife in an alleyway.

When he was arrested about an hour later, the boy claimed he had been defending himself because his father had hit him.

Paul Prior, defending, said: “In respect of the offence, there is an element of tragedy to it.

“Tension in this family existed prior to the Covid outbreak, and that intensified during the lockdown.

“It was a source of annoyance to him that he was reported missing when everyone knew where he was.”