Bentley man threatened wife and attacked inpatient

COURT: Court Case
COURT: Court Case

A man who attacked a fellow mental health inpatient after being sectioned for brandishing a knife at his wife has avoided prison.

Liam Stapleton, a father-of-three, suffered a mental breakdown after years of drug abuse.

The 35-year-old, of Finkle Street, Bentley, had separated from his wife but called round to see her on May 6, Sheffield Crown Court heard on Monday.

His wife had gone upstairs to check on their seven-year-old son. When she came down she found him with a knife in his hand.

Carl Fitch, prosecuting, said: “The defendant was stood there with a knife from the kitchen and said, ‘I’m going to do what you want me to do’. She grabbed hold of his hand which held the knife and shouted at him to stop. It was at that point that the seven-year-old son came downstairs shouting ‘mum, mum’. He appeared extremely frightened by what he saw his parents doing.”

Stapleton was arrested and taken to St Catherine’s Hospital in Doncaster. A few days later, he visited a cafe in the hospital grounds with the hospital walking group and attacked a fellow inpatient - a 50-year-old woman suffering from anxiety.

Mr Fitch said: “Without any warning he wrapped his arm around her neck and squeezed hard. He forced them both to the floor and wrapped his legs around her. She was squealing, crying and trying to get away. He also tried to bite her on the shoulder.”

David Webster, defending, said Stapleton hopes to rebuild his relationship with his wife.

In a statement read out in court, Mrs Stapleton said: “The person who attacked me isn’t the man I married. I realise now that his drug abuse and mental health issues made him act the way he did.”

Stapleton pleaded guilty to affray and assault occasioning actual bodily harm. He was sentenced to two-year community and supervision orders, along with a mental health treatment requirement and £60 surcharge.