Man spared prison after vicious attack on his own mother

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A Wigan man who threatened to stab and kill his mother during an horrific attack has narrowly avoided jail after magistrates decided to offer him an olive branch.

During the violent assault, Phillip Hickey, 29, headbutted and spat at his terrified mum Julie Horrocks at her home in February, after she failed to top up his mobile phone.

Photographs shown to the magistrates revealed the extent of the distraught mother’s injuries, who suffered a swollen eyebrow and cuts to her head.

Hickey, of Chorley Road in Standish, pleaded guilty to assault as well as two counts of criminal damage. The court heard that since the incident, Hickey has also served a 16-week jail sentence for assaulting his partner, and was released just before his latest court appearance.

Prosecutor, Katie Beattie, told magistrates that Hickey had been staying with his mum after falling out with his partner.

The abuse started after his mum went to the shop to top up his mobile phone with credit but was unable to as she did not know what network her son was on.

Magistrates heard that when Ms Horrocks arrived home and told Hickey; he picked up a tub of moisturiser and threw it at her.

Mrs Beattie said: “He starting saying “are you for real”, and verbally abusing her. He went to kick the victim but tripped over his mum’s foot.”

Hickey then picked up his mum’s cigarettes and began snapping them. She picked up the broken bits and went to the kitchen to throw them in the bin, which is when he attacked her again.

In a witness statement read out in court, Ms Horrocks said: “He headbutted me, I could see blood on my hands.”

Mrs Beattie continued: “He said “do you want me to do the other side?”. He slapped her to the back of the head. He was saying “I could stab you, I could kill you. Then he spat on her head twice.”

Ms Horrocks added in her statement that she is on “tenterhooks” when Hickey is in the house as she does not know what he is going to do next.

She said: “I think he could do much more than what he has done, he is so out of control. Enough is enough his behaviour is unacceptable.”

During the sentencing, Hickey began to cry. He tearfully addressed magistrates after a request from his defence solicitor.

Hickey said: “I want the change to turn my life around. It’s not me all that I have done. It’s drinking. I want a chance to sort it all out please.”

Ged Fraser, defending, told magistrates that Hickey could not believe that this is something he would have done.

Mr Fraser, said: “He cried when he was interviewed by police. He broke down in tears. He cried when I went through it with him. They are tears of embarrassment and genuine remorse.”

Hickey was given a 13-week jail sentence suspended for two years. Following the advice of probation officers he was also sentenced to 20 hours of Rehabilitation Activity Requirement (RAR) and 120 hours of unpaid work. As a repeat offender, Hickey has worked with probation in the past, but his response to rehabilitation has been described as “poor” and the court heard how he still continues to drink and use drugs.

The RAR will include a one to one in order to work on his relationship with women.

The magistrate chairman said: “This is an olive branch because you want to be a better man. Only you can do it. Work with probation and embrace what they will do with you.”