Man sentenced to at least 24 years for trying to kill his parents

Richardson will serve at least 24 years in prison.

Richardson will serve at least 24 years in prison. - Credit: Archant

A man has been sentenced to at least 24 years in custody for the attempted murder of both of his parents.

James Richardson, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty after attacking and injuring his parents at a residential address in Yatton, on April 10.

The 34-year-old used a crowbar to injure his parents, who are both in their 60s, before fleeing the scene.

A significant police operation, which included firearms officers, was carried out to apprehend Richardson, who was arrested in Kewstoke a few hours later.

Richardson’s father has recovered from the physical injuries he sustained, but Richardson’s mother continues to require care after sustaining a significant brain injury.

Richardson pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted murder. He also admitting assaulting a police officer, after throwing a hot drink at a PC, causing no injury.

A psychiatric report was conducted ahead of the sentencing at Bristol Crown Court on November 22, where Richardson was given a 29-year sentence, with 24 years in custody, plus a further five years on licence.

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His sentence will comprise of both psychiatric treatment and a custodial sentence.

Detective Constable Lucy Hastings-Knott, officer in the case, said: “Richardson’s violent actions that day have caused devastation for his parents and siblings, whose lives have been turned upside down.

“There is no doubt he tried to commit murder and it’s only down to excellent medical care and a degree of luck that fortunately neither of them died.”

The couple, in their 60s, were found seriously injured at a property near the Henley Lane area of Yatton on April 10.

The BBC reported that Richardson admitted striking his parents three times with a crowbar 'with full force' after going to their home to ask for money and to collect some property.

His father George suffered a fractured skull and elbow, and his mother Janet was found with the crowbar still lodged in her skull.

She has only recently been discharged from hospital and into a nursing home and is expected to require long-term care.

Richardson lived in a psychiatric facility between 2013 and 2019, and was re-admitted for six months over the Christmas period in 2019 after trying to strangle his father.

A restraining order was issued when he made threats to kill his mother in July 2020.

The court heard that people living with Richardson at a hostel in Melksham, Wiltshire, said he had often talked of being the devil and about his fantasies of killing his parents.

Despite the restraining order, his parents continued to support him financially and would have occasional phone contact with him.

He denied breaching a restraining order and the charge was left to lie on file.