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Jail for Cambridge University graduate who slapped father’s head

Court told defendant had hoped to become a doctor

Craigavon Court

A Cambridge University graduated who had hopes of becoming a doctor has been sent to jail after he slapped his father on the head and damaged his home.

Richard Erskine, of Woodhill Heights, Lurgan pleaded guilty to common assault and criminal damage.

Craigavon Magistrates’ Court heard on Friday that the incident occurred on June 11 and the defendant had been in custody since then.

Around 7.20pm on that day, court heard Erskine slapped his father over the head. His father lifted his arms to protect himself before running out of the house.

From there the injured party heard something smashing inside his house.

When he entered he saw a glass mirror broken in the hallway and another in the bathroom.

He also saw holes which had been made in the wall of the computer room.

The injured party had put the estimated damage at between £200 and £300.

Court heard the 27-year-old was a Cambridge University graduate in Biomedical Sciences and had hopes of becoming a doctor.

Defence counsel stated Erskine admitted he had a “problem with alcohol” and that this was “a very sad incident”.

It was also revealed that the defendant had been granted bail but the only address available to him was his father’s, which was denied.

Since the incident defence counsel stated Erskine had “attended AA in prison” and hoped he had learnt a “salutary lesson”.

He added that the defendant now wished to continue his studies in medicine saying, Erskine was “clearly a very bright and intelligent young man”.

District Judge Bernie Kelly said: “I am not ordering a pre-sentence report as it will merely postpone sentencing.

“Given the involvement of your father’s suffering I see this as an aggravating feature and see only one penalty I can impose.”

Erskine was sentenced to three months in prison and ordered to pay his father £300 in compensation within 12 weeks.

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