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A ‘parasite’ son who almost hacked off his father’s arm with a ‘branch cutter’ has been jailed for two years. David Cardwell, 34, slashed at his dad Charles with the blade during a row, severing his tendons and hitting the bone.

He had initially denied wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, but later changed his plea to a lesser charge after his dad begged the court for leniency. Instead, he admitted unlawful wounding, and was jailed for two years at Warwick Crown Court on November 22.

The prosecution had previously told the court how Cardwell and his father ‘argued constantly’, before the incident on October 30 last year. Describing the house as ‘not a happy home’, he said the row started when Mr Cardwell accused his son of not contributing ‘sufficiently to the family finances’.

A fight then broke out as Mr Cardwell went to take his son’s meal to him upstairs on a frying pan, escalating to the point of physical fighting.

Prosecutor Graeme Simpson said: ‘While his father swung out with the frying pan, Cardwell was wielding a billhook, which he referred to as a branch cutter. ‘As he lashed out he struck his father to his arms, causing deep wounds which went down to the bone on his left hand and wrist, severing tendons, and his right forearm, which was also fractured, as Charles tried to protect himself.’ He said Cardwell then stopped, and said: ‘Oh dad, I’d better get and ambulance’, before helping to wrap his father’s wounds and calling emergency services.

Cardwell claimed he had been acting in ‘self-defence’ after he and his dad ‘flailed at each other’ in the house.

Simon Hunka, defending, said: ‘It is a sad situation. It has marked the end of the relationship between father and son. It is a family that has been driven apart. ‘He accepts he was not justified in the use of a weapon, but it was an aggressive situation which was not of his making, but which he responded to. It was excessive self-defence.’ Sentencing Cardwell, of Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, judge Peter Cooke told him he had been living ‘parasitically’ from his parents.

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