Sunderland man assaulted his mum for second time in a year and forced her to flee as he smashed up their home

A grieving son assaulted his mother and attacked her with a vacuum cleaner before smashing-up a TV and glass-framed pictures at their home, a court heard.

Monday, 8th June 2020, 5:23 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th June 2020, 4:33 pm

Stephen Ramshaw, 50, of Maple Avenue, Silksworth, Sunderland, also threatened to “smash in the skulls” of police called to the scene.

The assault on his mum happened when he became aggressive and demanded she give him cash and her phone at around 11am on Wednesday, June 3.

When she refused, he went to grab the device, causing her to slip on the wet bathroom floor, banging her hand, magistrates in South Tyneside were told.

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The case was heard at South Tyneside Law Courts.

Prosecutor Lorna Rimell said Ramshaw briefly fled as his mum called police but returned and between 5pm and 6pm again turned angry.

She said: “He appeared to be under the influence of something and started to kick the TV in the living room, causing it to smash.

“She was scared and so left. He came out with a Hoover and tried to hit her with it. He was swinging it around.

“She went to a neighbour’s house. She could hear smashing and when she went back, she noticed a number of pictures in glass frames had been broken.”

The bathroom assault left her with a pounding head and lack of movement to her neck and emotionally feeling “sick” and being unbelieving of the incident.

Police who attended the second flare-up found Ramshaw holding an ornament in a bedroom and telling them, “I’ll smash your skulls in with it”, it was said.

Ramshaw, who has a previous conviction for assaulting his mum in June 2019, flung the object down without further incident.

The court heard the house belonged to him and that he and his parent had a “fraught” relationship.

Last year’s attack left him with a six-month restraining order to stop him harassing her but did not prevent their living arrangement.

Tom Morgan, defending, said Ramshaw had sunk into a “state of hell” following the death of his father and had suffered consistently poor mental health.

He added: “It’s left him in such a deep depression that the only time he has any kind of peace is when he’s unconscious.

“He’s harmed himself in a number of different ways. He’s not receiving the help to bring him back from the state that he’s in.

“The fact remains that in spite of the passage of time, the defendant remains in the same state as when his father passed away.

“To deal with that, he takes prescription medication and he takes non-prescriptive medication to knock himself out. He is extremely remorseful.”

Ramshaw, who pleaded guilty to assault, causing criminal damage and threatening police, was handed an 18-month community order.

It requires him to complete 20 days’ rehabilitation work with the Probation Service and 30 sessions on the Building Better Relationships programme.

He was also given an 18-month restraining order, preventing him from harassing or causing distress to his mum.

Ramshaw must pay her compensation of £50 for her injuries and £200 for the damage.

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