Sunderland man headbutted woman and attacked her son after downing vodka and snakebite

A drunken former chicken factory worker headbutted a Facebook friend and attacked her son after she invited him to her Sunderland home.

Thursday, 18th February 2021, 7:00 am

Michael Southam, 38, also damaged her neighbour’s Land Rover as if “by a spear” during the flare-up in Violet Street, Millfield, on Thursday, April 30.

Southam, of Leechmere Road, Hillview, Sunderland, who had binged on vodka and snakebite, flew off the handle because he felt uncomfortable at the property.

Magistrates have now ordered him to carry out 225 hours of unpaid work as part of a 24-month community order - and pay his victims a total of £700 compensation.

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South Tyneside Law Courts. Picture by FRANK REID.

Prosecutor Rob Lawson told magistrates in South Tyneside: “Mr Southam came to her home at about 8pm, and both were drunk.

“At some point they have gone into the kitchen and he has grabbed some food and scrunched it up and thrown it at the draining board.

“Because of his behaviour, she has gone to get her son to get the police.

“Mr Southam has headbutted her and he has also grabbed and twisted her arms.

“She couldn’t find her son, and Mr Southam ran upstairs and came back down and screamed in her face.”

Mr Lawson said at 8.45pm the woman’s son heard the back gate being shaken and spotted Southam next to it.

He added: “Mr Southam has thrown a plastic table across the back lane. He’s then grabbed the son by the throat.

“The neighbour was in his house and heard someone screaming. He checked his CCTV and saw a man throwing garden furniture.

“He has thrown tins of paint at his car and has damaged a door. He’s then gone back into the woman’s house.

“There was a dent to the bonnet, damage to a door and paint splatters. The owner described it as if hit by a spear.”

In mitigation, the court heard the offences had been committed after Southam had lost his job and spiralled into alcohol.

It was also said he was seeking help for mental health issues, was looking for work and had been crime-free since 2009.

Magistrates ordered him to pay compensation of £500 to the vehicle owner, £150 to the woman and £50 to her son.

There were no court costs or victim surcharge.

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