A man who battered his wife and stabbed his son in the head with a hairbrush while drunk has avoided a jail sentence.

Stephen Shapcott, 52, was sentenced at Preston's Sessions House on Tuesday after pleading guilty to one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and one count of assault by battery.

The court heard how in the early hours of New Years Day, Shapcott, of Parliament Street, Burnley, had been drinking with his family.

Present in the house were his wife, Claire Rowe; his son Connor and his six-year-old daughter, along with Connor's girlfriend; Shapcott's 15-year-old daughter and teenage son, and a number of teenage friends of his daughter's.

Prosecuting, Zoe Dawson, told the court: "The defendant, who was clearly intoxicated, walked up to his wife in the living room and grabbed her by the neck.

"She said she did not see it coming, and as he took hold of her neck they ended up in the kitchen.

"Connor's girlfriend attempted to intervene and grabbed the defendant in a choke hold before Connor told her to let go, at which point the defendant fell to the floor.

"He then jumped up and hit his son, before his wife tried to get in between them."

Lancashire Telegraph:

Ms Dawson said that as Connor tried to get out of the kitchen, Claire attempted to shut the kitchen door but Shapcott grabbed a hairbrush with a sharp metallic handle and began launching himself at Connor through the door, stabbing him in the head.

She continued: "Connor had blood running down his face. 

"At the time there were teenage girls present as well as Connor's six-year-old daughter, who also witnessed the events before the defendant's daughter called 999."

Ms Dawson said what followed was a distressing call to the emergency services in which Shapcott's daughter described the event as not being the first time something like that had happened and referred to another incident of domestic abuse which took place the year before. 

She told the call handler that she could not see if her mum was ok as she was in the kitchen with her dad and there was blood everywhere. 

The emergency services arrived at the house and Connor was checked over by a paramedic but refused to give a statement to police as he did not want to get his father in trouble.

Ms Dawson added: "Shapcott has four convictions for five offences but the crown would submit that while there are no recent convictions there are references within the evidence to a significant history of domestic violence, and Claire Rowe did indicate in a previous statement that some years ago when her son was a baby, the defendant threatened her with a knife when she had the baby in her arms.

“It is my submission that he poses a significant risk of serious harm to his partner and his son.”

Recorder Ian Harris said Shapcott would benefit from anger management and emotional regulation support.

In sentencing he said: “There was a New Years’ Eve gathering with your family which was in breach of Covid regulations and 999 had to be called after you grabbed your wife round the neck and stabbed your son to the head with the sharp end of a hairbrush.

“You have poor consideration towards others and your actions towards your son are related to annoyance and frustration and issues with dominance.”

Shapcott was handed a 12 month prison sentence suspended for two years and was given a community order of two years to run alongside that, where 20 days of rehabilitation activity were required.

He must also undertake a Building Better Relationships programme consisting of 30 sessions.