Schizophrenic son held pillow over face of mum and friend while they slept

Newcastle Crown Court
Newcastle Crown Court

A mentally ill son who held a pillow over his sleeping mother's face has been jailed.

Peter Thorpe, who had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia, "pushed down" with the pillow while his mum was asleep in the early hours of December 3 last year then did the same to her friend, who was also staying at the house.

Newcastle Crown Court heard during the "bizarre behaviour" in the hours that followed, the 27-year-old, who had not been taking his medication and had drank vodka, waved a knife around, smashed the kitchen table with a hammer and threw household items.

Prosecutor Neil Pallister told the court despite their ordeals, the two women wanted Thorpe to receive help rather than punishment for his behaviour.

His mum told police in a statement: "I do not wish to prosecute Peter or assist the police in the investigation. I do not think this will help his mental health issues.

"I think if Peter went to prison he would end up harming himself due to his mental state."

The concerned mum said she had involved the police that day on advice from her son's mental health crisis team.

Thorpe, of Manor View, Concord, Washington, who has previous convictions for offences including burglary and drugs, pleaded guilty to harassment.

The court heard he had indicated that he was unwilling to work with the probation service as part of any non-custodial sentence.

Judge Sarah Mallett sentenced him to five months behind bars, which will result in his almost immediate release due to the time he has served on remand.

The judge told him: "You had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia but you had stopped taking your medication and your behaviour was becoming more aggressive.

"You pushed a pillow down on the face of both of those two women and your mother managed to get you off."

The court heard since that day Thorpe has made "significant improvements" in his mental health.

David Comb, defending, said: "He has resumed his anti-psychotic medication and therapy under a chartered psychiatric nurse."