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Man hit 12-year-old stepson and threw Christmas tree at birdcage, killing budgie inside

A Yeovil man who violently assaulted his 12-year-old stepson and his partner during a row on Boxing Day last year has been allowed to walk free from court by magistrates after saying he was determined to change.

The defendant shouted at the boy and struck him on the face causing him to fall down the stairs landing flat on his face.

When his mother intervened and told him to leave he shoved her causing her to hit her head on a kitchen cupboard before striking her again on the head.

In his rage he then picked up the Christmas tree and threw it across the living room knocking a birdcage from its stand causing it to hit the wall and killing the pet budgie inside it.

When he appeared in the dock before Somerset Magistrates at Yeovil they were told that the incident had been witnessed by four children and the boy was taken to hospital with a suspected broken nose which was later confirmed as just bruising.

The 26-year-old defendant, who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty to assaulting his stepson and his partner by beating them on December 26.

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He also admitted destroying a number of household items.

Prosecutor Ben Winzer said the defendant had been staying at his partner’s house in Yeovil over the Christmas period and around midday he was going upstairs when he bumped into the 12-year-old boy and began shouting at him.

“The boy shouted back and it was then that the defendant struck the young boy to the face causing him to fall down the stairs, hitting his face on the floor,” he said.

“As a consequence an argument occurred between him and the boy’s mother which led to her asking him to leave the property.

“The argument became heated and whilst in the kitchen he snatched some chocolates from her hand and stamped on them and then shoved her to the corner of the kitchen causing her to hit her head on a cupboard.

“He then hit her on the head once with an open palm and started violently pulling a door handle causing it to break.

“He then picked up the Christmas tree and threw it across the room towards a birdcage. It hit a wall and the budgie died as a result.”

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The defendant continued to be violent and picked up a photo frame causing damage to it and slammed the tumble drier door shut causing damage. He then picked up his clothes and left the property.

The young boy had a large amount of swelling and was taken to Yeovil Hospital with a suspected broken nose, however it was later found not to be.

His mother did not receive any injuries as a result of her assault but made a victim impact statement saying that since the defendant had started taking crack he had changed into a different person.

“The situation has made me feel very down and depressed and he has changed for the worse and I just want my kids to have a dad in their life,” she said.

“I feel heartbroken as he used to be such a lovely person but drugs have changed him into such a nasty person and he does not listen to anyone.”

Yeovil Magistrates' Court
Yeovil Magistrates’ Court

The defendant told the magistrates that he felt disgusted with himself and was now trying to get the help and support he needed.

“I have been attending appointments with Turning Point and want to prove I can be a better dad and this should never have happened,” he said.

“I am disgusted with myself and want to apologise and also want support with my anger management.

“I want to show people that I can change and want to be a better person and not let people down.”

The magistrates said the offences were very serious but said he had shown a degree of remorse and indicated that he wanted to become a better person.

They said they were going to give him that opportunity but warned he had come very close to going straight into prison.

They sentenced him to an 18 month community order with 160 hours unpaid work and a 30 day Rehabilitation Activity Requirement. Costs of £85 and an £85 victim surcharge were also imposed.

 

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