Liberal Democrat councillor Simon Arthur jailed for assaulting mother


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The Independent Online

An outspoken councillor who beat his 87-year-old mother so often that she slept in her car to avoid him has been jailed for four months.

Terrified Isabelle Arthur, of Swansea, south Wales, was almost dragged from her car by her hair in the violent attack last month.

Drunken son Simon Arthur, 44, snapped when he saw her sitting in the car outside their home, too scared to come inside.

The motiveless attack continued as his mother tried to crawl away and was only stopped when a passer-by intervened.

Arthur has a familiar public face in Swansea as a readily quotable Liberal Democrat Mumbles community councillor.

His actions hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons when he angrily attacked his elderly mother on July 21.

Police were called after the initial attack which happened outside their home in Summerland Lane, Newton.

Arthur then threatened to attack an officer with a kitchen knife when police came to the house in the early hours of the next morning.

He has now been jailed at Swansea Magistrates' Court after admitting assault by beating his mother and assaulting a police officer.

Arthur has been involved in six domestic violence incidents against his mother since August last year.

Sharon Anderson, prosecuting, said that the attack last month happened after Mrs Arthur had been out for the evening.

Mrs Arthur later told police: "I had been out for the day with a friend and it had been lovely."

To get away from her son she previously drove to a local car park and slept in her car. When she arrived home she found he locked her out and so decided to sit in the car outside to avoid a confrontation.

Arthur spotted his mother from an upstairs window more than three hours later and immediately went outside and attacked her. He tried to drag her from the car by her hair, shouting "you will burn in hell" and "you'll suffer in the afterlife".

The court heard that she fell to the ground but managed to drag herself along the floor and out of the driveway.

"It was as if he was possessed," she told police.

Mrs Arthur managed to head off down the road and was saved by a passer-by who stopped Arthur's continuing attack.

Later Arthur pulled out a kitchen knife when police entered his home in the early hours of the morning, although they disarmed him.

"I punched Mr Arthur in the face with a clench fist," the officer confronted with the knife wrote in his report.

Arthur later claimed to have no memory of the attack and said he had drunk more than a bottle of wine.

He also admitted other attacks on his mother during which he "pulled her hair or pushed her when she was slow doing things".

Nick Devonald, defending, said that two weeks in custody was "beneficial" in helping Arthur reflect on what happened.

"Mr Arthur spent the first week reflecting on himself and his own position, and what had led him to be in that position and what he should do," he said.

"He spent the second week on reflecting what his actions had done to others. That is what he said to me."

Eliot Griffiths, chairman of magistrates, told Arthur that both offences passed the threshold of custody.

"We are talking of an assault by Mr Arthur on his 87-year-old mother in which a passer-by had to intervene to protect Mrs Arthur and prevent escalation of the assault."

The court imposed an indefinite restraining order on Arthur, which prevents him living with his mother after he is released from jail.

The local branch of the Lib Dems has suspended Arthur and is expected to expel him.