Man, 74, jailed for killing son in takeaway row

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The Independent Online

A 74-year-old man was jailed for five years today for stabbing his son through the heart because he brought home the wrong takeaway.

Frail Ossie James, who walks with a stick, was cleared of murder but found guilty of manslaughter at the Old Bailey.



The court heard that the two men had discussed having a Chinese meal but son Josie, 44, arrived with chicken and chips.



During the row which followed in February last year, James picked up a knife in the kitchen of his home in Brockill Crescent, Brockley, south London, and left his son in a pool of blood on the floor.



James told police that his son came towards him "like a raging bull", hitting him on the head.



Judge Richard Hawkins said the sentence was shorter than it would normally be because of the convicted man's age.









The judge said: "Josie returned with a takeaway and you were not happy with what was brought back and its condition.



"An argument followed with your son. He had offended against what was your duty and sensibility as a father.



"It is right to say Josie was strong and you are somewhat frail."



Neil Moore, prosecuting, said, when police were called to James's home, they found Joseph in the hallway. He died a few hours later.



The attack appeared to have taken place in the kitchen where there was a pool of blood on the floor and specks around the room.



A bloodstained knife was found in a kitchen drawer.



Mr Moore said: "When the police arrived, they found the defendant sitting in a chair in the living room."



He had to be restrained by a number of officers as they tried to handcuff him.



The following day, he handed officers a prepared statement which said: "He came at me like a raging bull and pushed me down on the kitchen floor and hit me on the head with something. I did not murder him."



A psychiatrist told the court James was a "rigid and controlling man" who held firm religious beliefs.



He was suffering from amnesia about the incident and may have acted in an "automaton state" when his son was attacked.



Christopher Parker QC, defending, said the death had been a tragedy for all the family.