A 19-year-old man who stabbed his mother then chased her to a neighbour’s house whilst armed with a knife as she tried to make her escape has been spared further jail time.
Lewis Goodall has already served the equivalent of a 14-month sentence in custody for attacking his mother in their east Belfast home last August.
Judge Geoffrey Miller QC branded the attack as “deeply disturbing”, and also noted that Goodall’s mother both withdrew her statement against her son, and attended court to support him on Tuesday.
Making Goodall the subject of a two-year probation order, Judge Miller told him this sentence “is not an easy option”, and warned any offending within that period would result in him being sent to Hydebank YOC.
Prosecuting barrister Philip Henry told Belfast Crown Court that Goodall admitted a charge of assaulting his mother and causing her actual bodily harm at their Donard Street home on August 26 last year.
Mr Henry said Goodall left the house just before midnight on August 25 and went to his brother’s, and returned at around 7.30 the following morning, covered in blood.
His mother noted he smelled of alcohol, and when she asked him what happened, he said he had been hit over the head.
Telling the court at this point Goodall was “distressed”, Mr Henry said he asked his mother for money she was giving him for a concert. Due to his state, she refused to hand over money and instead asked her son to go and clean himself up.
Goodall then punched his mother, went into the kitchen and grabbed a knife with a seven-inch blade then returned to the living room. Telling his mother “I am going to stab the f*** out of you”, Goodall then ran at her with the knife as she sat on the sofa.
She sustained minor injuries and managed to escape from the house. As she ran to a neighbour’s Goodall chased her, with Mr Henry telling the court: “He came at her again with the knife as she tried to gain access to her neighbour’s house.”
The neighbour saw Goodall had his mother pinned against a wall, and pulled her inside the house to safety.
When police arrived at the scene, they saw Goodall at the living room window, brandishing a spanner and with his face and head covered in blood.
Goodall was arrested and gave a ‘no comment’ response during interview. He appeared at court with 28 previous convictions.
Defence barrister Richard McConkey pointed out his client’s mother withdrew her statement, and said Goodall had already served the equivalent of a 14-month sentence for the incident.
Passing sentence, Judge Miller said it was clear from reading reports compiled on Goodall that he was “remorseful, shameful and quite clearly deeply regrets ... the violent assault upon his mother”.
Describing Goodall as a “deeply troubled young man” with mental health issues, Judge Miller said it was necessary to “try and find some way which provides him with some sense of structure”.
The judge told Goodall: “You were effectively off your head when you attacked your mother the way you did. It is deeply worrying and shameful conduct, but in fairness you recognise that.”
He was told to attend alcohol and drugs counselling programmes, and also had to engage in any courses designed to reduce the risk he presents for further offending.