Crawley man, 58, stabbed father, 79, in the back in ‘vicious and shocking’ attack
A Crawley man has been jailed for 28 months after stabbing his father in the back in a violent attack.
Andrew Spilling, 58, unemployed, of Hawkesmoor Road, Crawley, was sentenced when he appeared at Lewes Crown Court on Monday (March 29), said police. He was arrested on the evening of Friday 28 August by police in response to reports of a stabbing at a house in Oatlands, Crawley.
A police spokesman said: “Spilling, who was not in regular contact with his father, had turned up at the address uninvited around 5.30pm that day.
“He was allowed in but was asked to leave shortly afterwards following a disagreement between him and his father. Spilling refused, and punched his father twice causing no injury.”
The victim knocked on a neighbour’s door to ask for help getting Spilling to leave the property, but there was no immediate answer, said police. He returned to the address and as he was walking through the front door, he was stabbed in the back.
The spokesman said: “He turned to see Spilling moving a knife towards him again, and was stabbed in the arm as he defended himself.
“Spilling left the scene, and was seen by a number of witnesses walking away from the property in possession of a knife.”
An officer on patrol spotteed Spilling later that evening and arrested him as he matched the description of the suspect.
Spilling pleaded guilty to wounding/inflicting grievous bodily harm without intent when he appeared in court on Friday February 12, said police. As well as 28 months’ imprisonment, Spilling was ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £190 and was made the subject of a restraining order preventing him from contacting his father.
The restraining order also prevents Spilling from contacting the victim’s neighbours, who provided vital first aid to the victim following the attack.
In a statement read to the court at the sentencing, the 79-year-old victim spoke about the impact the stabbing has had on his life.
He said: “The biggest change in my life has been the stress and the trauma this has caused. I have lost over a stone in weight. I still can’t sleep at night and it’s on my mind last thing at night and first thing in the morning.”
His lung was damaged in the attack and took a long time to heal. Even now, he gets out of breath quickly when walking.
He added: “I had not had a decent relationship with him [Andrew] for 25 years but despite this, I still struggle every day with the fact that a son could stab his father in the back and arm after he had been invited in.”
Investigating officer Detective Constable Rees Hopcraft said: “The violence shown by Andrew Spilling towards his father that day escalated quickly, starting with a minor disagreement and ending in this vicious and shocking assault.
“The victim has shown great bravery in going to court and facing what has been a deeply traumatic incident for him. I’d like to thank him, all the witnesses and the local community who helped and supported our investigation along the way.
“Incidents of this nature, while rare, are very upsetting for those involved. I hope the conclusion of this case brings some closure to the victim as he continues his recovery.”