Belfast Telegraph

Son told dad he was going to kill him, court hears

By Ashleigh McDonald

A pensioner has recalled the moment he claimed his son tried to strangle him with a mobile phone charger lead before stabbing him twice in the head with a large kitchen knife.

Desmond Lockhead (74), from east Belfast, said he feared for his life as his son Alan told him: "I am going to kill you."

A jury at Belfast Crown Court yesterday also heard that during the incident - which occurred in the kitchen of the family home in Ballyhackamore on March 22 last year - Desmond's wife Sylvia was slashed twice in the arm as she intervened.

Alan Lockhead (55), whose address was given as HMP Maghaberry, has been charged with attempting to murder his father, and of wounding his mother with intent to cause her grievous bodily harm. The father-of-two has denied both charges.

Both Desmond Lockhead and his 72-year-old wife Sylvia were called to give evidence against their son, who had just returned back to Belfast after living in London for 16 years.

The couple both claimed that in the run-up to the incident, their son's behaviour was strange and he was paranoid. They both gave evidence from behind a screen - meaning they could not see their son in the dock.

Mr Lockhead said he was sitting in his kitchen at around 6.30am, when his son Alan approached him and asked why a mobile phone they had given him wasn't working.

Telling the court Alan "wasn't pleased", Mr Lockhead said his son lifted a phone charger lead, walked behind him, then "the next thing I was aware of was the charger lead around my throat and it was being pulled tight and it was choking me".

Mr Lockhead said that during this, his son was saying "youse are all against me. I am going to kill you, you b******". The pensioner said he managed to get his finger between his neck and the lead, which loosened the grip.

He added: "I was sitting down trying to get my breath back and then he was coming at me with a knife in his left hand."

The pensioner said he told his son to put the knife down, but that "he made a slash at me with the knife".

He added: "Lucky enough I was able to duck down... and that's when he caught me at the back of the left ear."

He said at this point he saw "blood pouring down onto my clothes and onto the floor".

Mr Lockhead claimed he kicked out, that his son came at him again with the knife and "he got me on the top of the head. There was blood pouring down my face".

He said he managed to "dive at him and grab him", and that he got Alan onto his back and sat on his chest to restrain him.

Mr Lockhead said that he called his wife, and when she came into the kitchen "I told her to get the knife out of his hand, and that's possibly when Sylvia got cut".

When the emergency services arrived, Alan Lockhead was arrested while both his parents were taken to hospital.

Under cross-examination by the defendant's barrister, Charles MacCreanor QC, the pensioner was asked if he and his son had argued prior to the incident.

The witness was asked if he had taunted his son about not being the biological father to his two children the night before.

Although he denied making this comment, Mr Lockhead did tell the court of an 'old saying' which suggested someone could always be 100% sure who their mother was, but could never be sure who their father was.

Telling the court there was no argument that Alan Lockhead lifted the charger and placed it around his father's neck, Mr MacCreanor said it was Mr Lockhead who "came at Alan with your fists up".

Mr MacCreanor also suggested to the pensioner that he got hit on the head "when you were on top of him with your knees on his chest".

Giving evidence, Mrs Lockhead said she was woken by her husband shouting.

Asked what she saw when she walked into the kitchen, Mrs Lockhead said: "Alan was lying on his back on the floor and his Daddy was on top of him, holding his arms."

She also claimed her son was "poking the knife at his Daddy's head and the blood was all gushing out".

Mrs Lockhead said she saw a knife in her son's hand, that her husband shouted "Sylvia get the knife", and that she tried to grab the weapon but Alan "had such a grip I couldn't get it".

Mrs Lockhead said she turned to look for something to hit her son on the hand with to force him to let go of the weapon "and the next thing... the knife has sliced my arm".

At hearing.

Belfast Telegraph

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.


From Belfast Telegraph