A FATHER who tried to kill his depressed son while he was sleeping, snapped while caring for his dementia-stricken wife, a court heard.
John Pheysey, of Brook Lane in Chester, repeatedly hit his middle-aged son around the head with a hammer, before stabbing him three times with a kitchen knife.
Appearing before Chester Crown Court on Monday, the 75-year-old was sentenced to three years behind bars for the attack on his son David earlier this year.
The court heard how John Pheysey ‘snapped’ after living for years with his son, who suffers from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and bouts of depression, tried to kill him after deciding his presence was making his wife’s dementia worse.
In the early hours of May 21 David, 46, was in bed in the family home when his father walked into his bedroom and began to smash him around the head with a hammer wrapped in a carrier bag.
Prosecuting, Meirion Lewis-Jones told how David struggled with his father on to the landing – where he was repeatedly stabbed with a kitchen knife.
“His father kept saying ‘I’m sorry’. He kept jabbing at David who was screaming at his father to stop,” said Mr Jones.
“After a little while the defendant did stop and he went downstairs and outside. David was bleeding heavily.”
When police asked a blood-soaked John Pheysey what had happened at the house he said: “I tried to kill my son, I wish I had,” before later saying he was worried about the safety of his wife, Josephine.
David was taken to the Countess of Chester Hospital where he was treated for lacerations to his head and body, and needed surgery to insert a metal plate in his cheek.
Defending, Patrick Thompson said the 75-year-old, who works for an online property development company, suffered a nervous breakdown and simply snapped under the pressure.
“In the moment he committed the offence he wanted to kill him, now of course in the calm, clear light of day he is horrified about what has happened,” said Mr Thompson, who said the situation had now been resolved as his wife had been moved into a care home and his son was living in sheltered accommodation and had tried to reconcile with his father.
Recorder of Chester Judge Elgan Edwards took into account his age and guilty plea, saying: “This is a tragic case, tragic for you and tragic for your family.”