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Portadown teen threatened to decapitate his mother in ‘absolutely horrific incident’

He damaged a door by stabbing ar it several times with a knife and punched a television

Newry courthouse police

A Portadown teenager who threatened to “decapitate” his mother whilst holding a knife has been sentenced to two years probation.

Sentencing the 18-year-old, the deputy district judge stated: “This is an absolutely horrific incident. His mother was in her own home, he threatened to decapitate her and the incident went on for some time.”

Ben Stewart, of Bridge Street, appeared for sentencing on criminal damage and common assault at Newry Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.

Prosecution outlined that at 1am on October 22, the injured party stated that her son, the defendant, had attended her home and appeared under the influence of drugs.

Court heard that Stewart was diagnosed as autistic and required the assistance of his mother.

She claimed that between 1am and 6am, her son became aggressive towards her after she confronted him about his drug use.

At one point, the defendant appeared in the doorway of her bedroom holding a knife and threatened to “decapitate” her.

Stewart damaged a door by stabbing it several times with the knife and punched a television, valued at £250, damaging it.

The defendant was arrested and during interview he accepted the offences whilst being apologetic and remorseful throughout.

Defence barrister John McCann stated that Stewart did suffer from autism and had not been taking his medication for some three to six days prior to the incident.

He said: “This coincided with the end of a long term relationship.

“He instructs that his behaviour was not intended to frighten his mother. He dabbled in illicit substances to deal with mental health issues but he is now relying on prescribed medication.”

Mr McCann added: “This is a man with no criminal record whatsoever, this offending was completely out of character.”

The barrister also commented that it was Stewart’s admissions during interview which led to the charges continuing to be before the court as his mother had made a withdrawal statement.

Deputy District Judge Anne Marshall stated: “He comes before the court with no previous convictions, although he does have a caution for possession of drugs.

“The misuse of prescribed and other drugs is what led to this offending. This is an absolutely horrific incident. His mother was in her own home, he threatened to decapitate her and the incident went on for some time.”

Stewart was sentenced to a two year probation order.

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