An angry son left his elderly father with a broken hip after flying into a rage because his parents did not get the right fried chicken.
Norman Bell, 76, bought a supermarket variety of chicken to take to his son David’s home in Hartlepool, County Durham, instead of the takeaway Kentucky Fried Chicken the 46-year-old wanted.
Mr Bell and David’s mother met their son at a bus stop where the 46-year-old alcoholic became infuriated when his mother revealed the type of chicken they had bought.
As Mr Bell tried to walk away, his son went to headbutt him and the pensioner fell while trying to to avoid the blow, Teesside Crown Court heard.
Mr Bell had to have surgery and spent 11 days in hospital because his hip was so badly fractured – but still pleaded with the judge to show his son mercy. Bell admitted causing grievous bodily harm, but avoided jail after recorder Richard Woolfall accepted his father’s request.
The family had joined each other at a bus stop on February 8 when the violence occurred. When Mr Bell became irritated with his son’s behaviour and went to walk home, his son stood in his path with clenched fists and shouted in his face before preparing to headbutt him.
Nathan Moxon, prosecuting, said: ‘He stepped backwards to avoid the defendant, fell to the floor and felt what he described as excruciating and unbearable pain to his left hip.’
Police were called and Bell was arrested at the scene. His dad was taken to hospital where x-rays revealed he had a fractured hip. Bell had drunk half a bottle of whisky and four cans of strong lager that day. He was facing prison but his dad made a plea through lawyers to the court for him to remain free.
Mr Moxon added: ‘His father said his son has been undertaking alcohol treatment, that this has been effective and he would not like to see his recovery derailed by any custodial sentence.’ Rupert Doswell, mitigating for Bell, said he did not mean to fracture his father’s hip.
He added: ‘For the first time in a long time there does seem some hope he will rid himself of his addiction. He has made progress. He has been alcohol-free for 28 days.’ Bell was given 12 months in prison suspended for 18 months with probation provision.
Recorder Woolfall told him: ‘You are going to have to get a grip of your life. Not only for yourself, but for those around you. ‘But for the fact you have made progress and your father does not want you to go to prison, I would have locked you up. Consider yourself extremely fortunate.’