A MAN who hacked his father’s arms with a machete-type weapon, cutting them down to the bone, during a violent argument at their home has been jailed.
David Cardwell had pleaded not guilty to wounding his father with intent to cause him grievous bodily harm, and had been due to stand trial at Warwick Crown Court.
But on that day a plea of guilty to an alternative offence of unlawful wounding was accepted by the prosecution after his father said he did not want to see him unduly punished.
The 34-year-old, of England Crescent, Leamington, was jailed for two years for what Judge Peter Cooke described as ‘a savage attack with a weapon akin to a machete.’
Prosecutor Graeme Simpson said: “This is a sad case in many ways. The defendant is the son of the victim, and they lived in the same house.
“But it was not a happy home. The defendant and his father argued constantly, and alcohol featured heavily.
“His father Charles Cardwell believed the defendant did not contribute sufficiently to the family finances.”
On October 30 last year the two of them argued again about money, and Cardwell was abusive and challenged his father to a fight, but then went upstairs to his room.
Mr Cardwell remained downstairs where he went into the kitchen to make something to eat, then put his son’s meal onto a frying pan to carry it upstairs.
He saw Cardwell leaning over the bannister, and as another argument broke out, according to the basis of Cardwell’s guilty plea, they began aiming blows at each-other.
While his father swung out with the frying pan, Cardwell was wielding a billhook, which he referred to as a branch-cutter.
It was normally kept under the sink, but he later said he had taken it to his room so his father could not use it.
And as he lashed out he struck his father to his arms, causing deep wounds which went down to the bone on his left hand and wrist, severing tendons, and his right forearm, which was also fractured, as Charles tried to protect himself, said Mr Simpson.
Cardwell then stopped, and remarked: “Oh dad, I’d better get and ambulance.”
He called for an ambulance, and helped wrap his father’s wounds and went outside with him to wait for it to arrive.
After Cardwell was arrested he claimed he had acted in self-defence using the billhook to try to frighten his father away.
Judge Peter Cooke observed Charles Cardwell ‘has not made a full recovery,’ and has been left with restricted use in his hands, which was likely to be a long-term situation.
Simon Hunka, defending, said: “It is a sad situation. It has marked the end of the relationship between father and son. It is a family that has been driven apart.
Mr Hunka added Cardwell had health problems and suffers from arthritis, which mad finding work difficult.
Jailing Cardwell, Judge Cooke told him: “This was a horrific attack on your father using a weapon akin to a machete. The defensive injuries to your father’s hands and wrists are the worst. The images of them are stomach-churning to say the least.