Son spat in 79 year old dad’s face in savage beating

A son beat and spat on his elderly dad who suffers from dementia and requires multiple visits a day from carers.

Liam Fennelly was found by a carer hitting his vulnerable 79-year-old dad and repeatedly spitting in his face.

The 38-year-old was supposed to look after his dad along with carers who would visit elderly Kenneth Fennelly four times a day.

But instead he lashed out in a vile attack at his dad’s Seacombe home on September 11 last year, during which he ‘goaded’ his dementia-suffering dad and tried to get him to retaliate.

The son appeared in Liverpool Magistrates’ Court this morning where Sophie Leyland prosecuted the case and Vicky Balenski defended Fennelly.

District Judge Paul Healey, sentencing, said: “The background to the assault is the victim is your father, I understand in his late 70s, an elderly gentleman with a serious medical condition. I understand he suffers from dementia, clearly a debilitating condition.

“He has to receive regular care, a carer has to attend four times a day.

“The carer attended and he was aware of a disturbance inside the property. I think there may have been some delay in getting into the property.

“They saw broken bottles and sign of a disturbance within the property and they saw you strike your father on several occasions.

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“He makes reference to ‘goading your father’. It seems you were trying to encourage your father to retaliate, react to you and strike you.”

The judge explained there were “numerous injuries” including bruising, and he was shown a photo of Kenneth Fennelley’s bloodied face.

District Judge Healey said: “The carer sees you spit into your father’s face on three occasions. You spat directly on your father’s face.

“Spitting at any time is a horrible thing to do. In the height of the current national emergency spitting in the face of a 79-year-old gentleman with a debilitating condition is really appalling behaviour.”

The judge added: “You deliberately targeted a vulnerable victim.

“I have to factor in this is domestic violence, an assault upon your father that took place at the victim’s home address.

“That’s where your father should feel safe and secure. You have really betrayed the trust your father put in you.”

“You have pleaded guilty to two charges which date back to September 11 last year.”

“You initially pleaded not guilty to the assault, that matter was listed for a trial date, you pleaded guilty on the day of trial.”

The judge said he was able to afford Fennelly “some credit” for his guilty plea.

“In determining the appropriate sentence I have to have regard to the seriousness of the offence. I do that by looking at the harm caused to the victim.

District Judge Healey noted that Fennelly, of Arkles Lane, Anfield, was “highly intoxicated” and said he has previous convictions although he doesn’t have an “extensive record”.

Fennelly admitted assault by beating and criminal damage on the day of his trial.

The judge said: “I am urged to consider whether I can step back from immediate custody.

“I have come to the view suspending the sentence doesn’t reflect the seriousness of the offence you have committed.”

Fennelly was jailed for 14 weeks and must pay £500 in compensation to his father.

Liverpool Echo – Liverpool News