Battered Wigan dad backs son in note to judge

A Wigan man who broke his dad's jaw and cheekbone in a frenzied attack has walked from court thanks to a supportive letter written to the judge.

Wednesday, 18th July 2018, 8:36 am
Updated Wednesday, 18th July 2018, 9:42 am
The hearing took place at Bolton Crown Court

Frank Ryan, of Warrington Road in Platt Bridge, pleaded guilty to inflicting grievous bodily harm on his 61-year-old dad following an altercation at the family home about money and mental health medication. The court heard how on May 25 this year, Thomas Ryan came home to his wife at about midnight to find that his 40-year-old son had been asking for money for a taxi.

He went downstairs to find his son, Ryan Jnr, who he said appeared to be on “alcohol or drugs”.

An argument soon broke out between the two about Ryan Jnr’s medication, which Mr Ryan Snr looks after for his son.

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“Frank Ryan used both hands to push him,” said Mr Lees. “Mr Ryan stumbled back and lost his balance.

“He grabbed the defendant who delivered repeated blows to his neck, chin and jaw. Mr Ryan said that the punches seemed to go on forever.

“It seemed his mother got involved and came into the bathroom where she managed to drag her son off her husband.”

Judge Timothy Clayson heard how Ryan Jnr remained in the house until the police arrived, at which point he immediately gave himself up and told officers that he was the man they were looking for.

Mr Ryan Snr, who had been looking after his son prior to the incident, suffered a fractured jaw and a fractured cheekbone - both injuries which required stitches. Mr Lees read out a brief impact statement to the court, which included several members of the Ryan family.

“He has the injuries to remind him of what he was put through,” said the prosecutor. “He said his son was behaving like a wild animal and that will always be with him.”

Defending, Paul Treble told the court that his client “deeply regrets” attacking his dad and that his mental health problems were “exacerbated” by issues with his medication.

“At the time he had the medication changed,” said Mr Treble. “Those 24 hours before the assault he hadn’t the benefit of any medication. He is of previous good character. Alcohol has played a very unpleasant part in this case.”

Despite the savage attack, Mr Ryan Snr wrote a “very supportive” letter in favour of his son which Judge Clayson read before handing down his sentence.

Judge Clayson said: “The letter that his father has written is in every way supportive of the defendant and in no way is it other than what you would expect from a father who has the best interests of his son at heart. He should know that his father is fully supportive of him.”

Speaking to the defendant he added: “You have had serious mental health problems but also you have been drinking far too much.

“You and drink do not mix very well at all. It’s really as simple as that. Make sure you do not drink at all.”

Ryan Jnr was given an 18-month community sentence which includes 20 days of rehabilitation activity requirement and has been made the subject of a restraining order at the request of his dad.