Ellesmere Port man admits assault on elderly mother


Staff reporter (Chester First)

A SON was at the “end of his tether” when he bashed his dementia-suffering elderly mother’s head against a metal arch.

Veronica Thornton was heard screaming for help in her back garden by shocked neighbour Yvonne Carr, who called police.

Michael Thornton, 63, had lived with his mother for 20 years and had been her main carer, West Cheshire Magistrates Court heard.

Mrs Thornton had been diagnosed with dementia some months earlier and her son had increasingly struggled with her behaviour, magistrates were told.

Thornton said his mother had become violent, throwing scissors and other objects and was getting up out of bed and attempting to make meals at all hours.

Wendy Newton, prosecuting, said Thornton described it as a “very bad day” on March 23 when his mother’s behaviour had been difficult.

Thornton had been to collect her medication and had gone to the pub for a drink before returning to the home he shared with her in Bamburgh Court, Ellesmere Port.

At 11.30pm Mrs Carr heard screams and spotted Thornton banging his mother’s head against a metal arch, Mrs Newton said.

Mrs Thornton, who was said to be aged 89 or 90, suffered a cut to her face. Thornton told police he could not remember harming his mother and was sorry for his actions.

Thornton admitted assault. Magistrates were told help was being sought to assist Thornton and his mother.

Michael Hemsley, defending, told the court: “Mr Thornton loves his mother very dearly. He can’t believe he has hurt someone he loves so dearly.

“This is one of those sad cases where you have a gentleman of 63 years of age who has loved his mother for the last 20 years and for the last four months or so, after his mother was diagnosed with dementia, he has been beside himself, at his wits end, looking after his mother.

“He can’t sleep at night and it is extremely difficult. He never meant to hurt his mother. He just snapped. He can’t remember hurting her. He just could not cope any more.”

Magistrates sentenced Thornton to a 12-month community order and told him to complete 80 hours of unpaid work. He was also told to pay £85 costs and a £60 victim surcharge.

See full story in the Chester Leader

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