'Bitter' father urged son, nine, to poison mother, court told

First published in News

A hate-fuelled man who urged his nine-year-old son to poison his mother and frame her new partner for the murder has been jailed for 18 months.

Bradford Crown Court heard that the “diabolical” plot was hatched in more than 3,000 Facebook messages between father and son.

The man first got the child to steal his mother’s bank card and pass on her pin number. He withdrew £300 from her account after telling his son to hide the stolen card under a rock.

The man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of his son, referred to the woman’s new partner as “knob” and the child’s grandmother as “grandma bitch.”

In “brainwashing” messages to the boy, who lives in Bradford with his family, he urged him to complain that “Mummy is very selfish. I hate living with them. She got rid of our pets.”

The court heard yesterday that events took a sinister turn when the man, from the Ilkley area, began messaging in detail to his son about poisoning his mother with nicotine. He was a smoker and suggested he could extract it and it could be applied lethally to the woman’s skin.

The man suggested to his son that his mother’s new partner could be implicated by putting one of his hair’s in the jar of poison.

The man told his son it would “kill two birds with one stone.”

“I’d do the lot of them if I could,” he said.

The man pleaded guilty to theft, fraud and perverting the course of justice.

A charge of encouraging or assisting in the commission of causing grievous bodily harm was dropped.

Judge Jonathan Rose said he was satisfied the man did not intend to kill or seriously injure the woman.

Prosecutor Kitty Taylor said the man wanted his son to live with him after his relationship with the boy’s mother ended and she met a new partner.

Between June and September last year, he maliciously incited the boy to steal and to claim his mother had punched him in the face.

“It was punishment to her from an embittered ex-partner,” Mrs Taylor said.

The boy was torn between two parents. His father secretly handed him a phone with a password and met up with him at school without his mother’s knowledge.

Judge Rose said the man vented his anger, malice and hatred on the boy’s mother who had never tried to stop him seeing his son.

“I use the word reprehensible. It is unforgivable,” the judge told him.

It was cruel to the child to make him keep secrets from his mother and he was left hurt, harmed and damaged.

The prison sentence reflected “the public horror that a man could act in such a despicable way to his own son.”

The defendant’s lawyer, Ian Hudson, conceded they were “disgraceful, despicable, diabolical,” offences from a “bitter, spiteful and angry” man.

Remand in jail was a horrific experience for him. He had learned his lesson and was deeply ashamed, said Mr Hudson.

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