Man jailed for injuring parents with knife after row over phone
A man who injured both his parents with a knife in an early morning argument in east Belfast has been handed a six-year sentence.
Alan Lochhead (55) stabbed his elderly father in March 2017, with his mother sustaining wounds to her arm as she intervened.
Passing sentence, Judge Gordon Kerr QC told Lochhead that he accepted the incident was not premeditated, and that the remorse he has since expressed was genuine.
Lochhead, whose address was given as HMP Maghaberry, will serve three years behind bars, with the remainder on supervised licence.
Earlier this year Lochhead was found not guilty by a jury at Belfast Crown Court of attempting to murder his father Desmond, but was convicted of wounding the 74-year-old with intent to do him grievous bodily harm.
He was also charged with wounding his 72-year-old mother Sylvia with intent to do grievous bodily harm. While the jury acquitted him of this charge, they returned a guilty verdict to the lesser charge of wounding her.
The trial heard Lochhead had returned after living in London for 16 years. He was staying with his parents in the family home in Ballyhackmore when the violent incident occurred in the kitchen at around 6.30am on March 22 last year.
Desmond Lochhead said he had feared for his life after his son tried to strangle him with a mobile phone charger lead before stabbing him twice in the head with a large kitchen knife. Mr Lochhead said that during the incident his son told him: "I am going to kill you."
Mrs Lochhead, who was woken from her sleep by her husband calling for help, was slashed twice in the arm as she tried to take the knife from her son.
The defendant, who also gave evidence, said he never intended to hurt anyone.
Flatly denying that he tried to murder his father and denying he stabbed him in the head.
Lochhead instead claimed he hit his father with the knife as the older man was sitting on his chest, in a bid to get him off.
When Lochhead was asked about the wounds his mother sustained, he said: "I never, ever, ever, never did I ever intend to hurt my mother.
"It was by pure accident. She came down and got in the road, basically."
The elderly couple were initially treated at the scene, but were both taken to hospital for further medical intervention. It was suggested during the trial that the defendant lost his temper and attacked his father after Mr Lochhead questioned whether or not his son was the biological father to his two daughters.
In the moments before the attack father and son exchanged words about a mobile telephone Mr Lochhead had lent his son, but which his son couldn't work.
Handing Lochhead the six-year sentence, Judge Kerr said Mr and Mrs Lochhead had both spoken about their son's "weird" and "paranoid" behaviour in the house prior to the incident, which he said could be attributed to his issues with drink and drugs.