A FATHER has made an impassioned plea for his ex-soldier son to get the help he needs with mental health problems brought on by serving his country.

Blackburn magistrates heard Jonathan Roy Sutcliffe had assaulted his wife and a child and on a separate occasion assaulted his father.

But Roy Sutcliffe said all he wanted to do was help his son.

“He has been in a deeply dark place and there hasn’t been the support he needs from the mental health services,” said Mr Sutcliffe senior.

“When he is well he is the nicest son you could wish to have but when he is unwell he has problems.

“I just want him to be my son again and I will help him to be the son and father he should be. He deserves all the help he needs after all he has done for his country.”

Sutcliffe, 31, of Allerton Close, Darwen, pleaded guilty to three charges of assault and one of damaging a phone belonging to his wife.

He was made subject to a community order for 18 months with a 30-day rehabilitation activity requirement. He was made subject to a restraining order for two years which prevents him having contact with his wife and ordered to pay £300 compensation to her.

Parveen Akhtar, prosecuting, said Sutcliffe had punched his wife when she tried to get him up to take the children to their grandmother’s.

He stopped her entering the kitchen to get some breakfast and when she went to leave the house grabbed her and banged her head against a wall. He then kicked her.

Sutcliffe was on bail for that offence and living with his parents when there was a dispute over his use of his father’s car. It resulted in him attacking his dad.

Jonathan Taylor, defending, said Sutcliffe was deeply ashamed of his behaviour.

“It is clear there are two sides to his character,” said Mr Taylor.

“One is a caring husband and father and the other, suffering the effects of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, is a totally different person.”

Mr Taylor said while he was serving in the army Sutcliffe had seen and done some traumatic things.

“You have to live with the consequences of these things,” said Mr Taylor.

“While you are in the army it is all part of a common goal and that makes it easier.

“When you move away you are the one who is lying awake at night thinking about the things you have done and shouldn’t have done.”

Mr Taylor said Sutcliffe had raised concerns with his officers but got a very negative response.

“He says he was effectively forced out of the army and he found it difficult to settle into civilian life,” he said.