An Adelaide man who brutally bashed his 97-year-old father and left him in a pool of blood has avoided jail time, as the judge described the incident as “quite tragic”, it has been claimed.
According to the publication, a court was told that Stevens had been living with his parents at the time and had begun drinking heavily following the death of his mother.
In January last year, he reportedly launched into an angry outburst at his dad while at their Glen Osmond home, leaving the elderly man with a broken nose, fractured ribs, lacerations and bruises to his face. However, instead of calling for help Stevens left his father lying in a pool of his own blood and went to bed, the court heard.
His father was later rushed to the Royal Adelaide Hospital where he spent several days in intensive care before passing away a month later from heart failure.
Speaking in court this week, District Court judge Jane Schammer reportedly said it seemed like Stevens “panicked” in the moment, before later telling his neighbour about the incident. She added that Stevens’ behaviour was far removed from what others had claimed he was usually like, with some describing him as a “big softie”.
“Your neighbour describes you as ‘a big softie’ and had never seen you display anger before,” The Advertiser reports Schammer said in court.
“You have the ongoing love and support of your sister who has described you as usually being both loving and gentle. There is no history of you ever using illicit drugs.”
A psychiatrist reportedly mirrored the neighbour’s views, claiming Stevens’ behaviour was “very much out of character” and that he was a low risk of reoffending.
Stevens was handed a suspended prison sentence of two years and almost 10 months. He will remain living in a supportive facility.
The latest incident follows a shocking attack on an 83-year-old at an age care facility on Sydney’s northern beaches late last year.
The New South Wales Police issued a statement at the time confirming a man had been charged after alleged assaults in the facility. Police alleged a male employee who worked at the home in the suburb of Seaforth entered the patient’s room between Sunday August 26 and Wednesday August 29 to carry out the assault.
He was charged with two counts of common assault (DV), as well as use of an offensive weapon with intent to commit indictable offence.
The Elder Abuse Prevent Unit previously noted that while elder abuse can take places in a number of different ways, it typically occurs when there is an imbalance of power between two people.
The abuser is usually known to the victim and it typically happens in a relationship of trust. In addition to physical and mental abuse, it can also take form in psychological, financial, sexual or neglectful abuse.
If you suspect abuse is happening to a loved one, there is help available. The Elder Abuse Helpline available in all major states and territories across the country. In Queensland, call 1300 651 192. For New South Wales, dial 1800 628 881. Canberra’s number is 02 6242 5060, while Victorians can call 1300 368 821. The number for Tasmania is 03 6237 0047 and South Australians can call 08 8232 5377. The number for the Northern Territory is 1800 037 072 and Western Australia’s is 1300 724 679.