A Stroud man with a past conviction for shooting his father in the chest with a BB gun was jailed yesterday for pointing a powerful laser beam into his dad’s eyes.
Adrian King, 23, was in trouble from the moment he arrived at Gloucester Crown Court to be sentenced yesterday (Tues) – because security officers found a large screwdriver in his rucksack.
They confiscated it and it was shown to Judge Ian Lawrie QC in court before he passed sentence on King. He said he had found the screwdriver and had intended to sell it.
The judge heard that on November 1st last year King, 23 was living with his parents in Thrupp, Stroud when his father Stephen was woken up at 4am by what he thought was the central heating system making a noise.
Janine Wood prosecuting said: “He went downstairs to investigate and found his son making a noise and he challenged him. They had an argument during which the son picked up a kitchen pan and banged it down with so much force that the handle fell off.
“Adrian King then went on a rampage in the house, damaging one of the bedroom doors, before calming down and returning to his own room.
“Mr King decided a short while later to check on his son but when he entered his bedroom he was subjected to powerful laser beam being pointed towards him in a violent manner. The defendant pointed it at his father’s body, from his legs working his way up his body.
“Mr King knew that the laser was powerful enough to set things on fire because he had been shown videos on the internet and consequently he immediately became scared for his own safety.
“Things then got very heated when Adrian King shined the laser into his father’s eyes. As he left the room he went downstairs and as he did so he was aware that the laser beam was following him and it was bouncing around his body.”
Mr King then took refuge in the bathroom. In the meantime another family member had called the police and the son was arrested on their arrival.
Judge Lawrie interjected: “I can sense the terror the father would have felt.”
The court was told about the incident that led to King receiving a 16-month suspended prison sentence in September 2018. King had shot his father in the chest with a BB gun then repeatedly hit him over the head with the butt of the weapon, leaving a visible scar.
Mrs Wood said: “Clearly this was why Mr King thought his life was in danger.”
Judge Lawrie said: “The similarity in both cases is that King used a weapon and targeted his father with varying degrees of violence. This was a sustained attack.”
Jo Hall from the probation service told the court that King’s life was chaotic but said that he had completed the unpaid work element of his suspended sentence.
Joe Maloney defending said: “King’s life is in freefall. He is unstable and his mental health is deteriorating rapidly.
“He clearly has mental health problems. He has been seen by many experts in the field, but he doesn’t engage with them.”
King, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty to affray and breaching the terms of his suspended prison sentence from September 2018.
Judge Lawrie said: “King poses a problem to his parents. He has access to a lot of support but has chosen to box himself into a corner.
“The efforts put in by probation and others don’t appear to have worked.
“He is bright young man, but he is damaged, sadly.”
The judge then turned to King and said: “You have presented me with a sentencing dilemma.
“You have shown a degree of compliance with the court order, but I have little choice but to activate the suspended sentence.
“I make it clear to you that you need to make an effort to help yourself.
“You are a danger to others. If you don’t sort yourself out, you will find yourself in a worse position than you are now.
“I am unhappy about imposing a custodial term, but I have to think about your father and others.
“You are not making the opportunities presented to you. While you are in prison try to make the most of the help offered to you.”
The judge sentenced King to 18 months in prison and ordered him to pay a victim surcharge of £149.
The judge said he would be contacting the prison to alert them to King’s problems and difficulties.