Suffolk: Delusional man battered elderly couple with brick in mistaken belief he had been branded a paedophile

Aaron Parkes who has been detained under the Mental Health Act Aaron Parkes who has been detained under the Mental Health Act

Friday, June 27, 2014
8:00 AM

A delusional man who battered his elderly neighbours with a brick during a “savage” attack in their back garden has been detained under the Mental Health Act.

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Deeply troubled Aaron Parkes, of Tonning Street, Lowestoft, falsely believed John and Lilian O’Brien called him a paedophile.

Parkes, 25, was sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court after admitting grievous bodily harm on 71-year-old Mr O’Brien and comitting actual bodily harm on his 73-year-old wife.

The court heard that after the attack Parkes was heard to say “let me finish him (Mr O’Brien) off – let me finish him off”.

Another witness in nearby Bevan Street West who saw Parkes in her back garden crying stated that he said: “I’ve done something stupid. I’ve killed two people.”

Mr and Mrs O’Brien, whose house was next door but one to where Parkes lived, were left covered in blood following the attack on September 9 last year.

As a result Mr O’Brien was left with a cut to the right-hand side which went down to his skull. He had three small cuts to the right side of his face, severe swelling around one of his eyes, a small haemorrhage to his brain and fractures to his right eye socket and the base of his skull.

Mrs O’Brien also sustained a cut to her forehead and significant bruising under her eyes.

It was made clear in court neither Mr or Mrs O’Brien had accused Parkes of being a paedophile and there was no suggestion Parkes was a paedophile.

However, he was mentally ill and had carried out the attack while the balance of his mind was disturbed.

Sentencing Parkes to be detained under the Mental Health Act 1983, Judge David Goodin said: “This was a savage, frightening attack on two elderly people in the privacy of their own garden.”

Previously prosecutor Joanne Eley told the court the O’Briens had been sitting in their garden when Mr O’Brien suddenly felt a huge bang on the back of the head.

Miss Eley said: “He described it as like something had fallen out of the sky.”

Parkes burst through the gate with a ‘reddish-coloured object’ in his hand which Mr O’Brien believed was a brick.

Parkes was angry and shouting: “You have told someone I’m a paedophile.”

He then caught Mrs O’Brien on the head with a heavy blow, the court was told.

She later recalled seeing a lump of concrete lying on the ground next to her.

A sustained attack took place on Mr O’Brien who was hit seven times with a brick. He was also struck repeatedly by Parkes’ fists.

The incident was said to have lasted for a few minutes.

Parkes was taken away from the scene after a man who knew him arrived and got him in a bear hug.

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