Son, 21, jailed for THREE YEARS after beating father, 90, to death

Son, 21, is jailed for just THREE YEARS despite beating his 90-year-old father to death in a rage after he refused to give his mother £10 for cigarettes

  • Michael Burns, 21, punched his father repeatedly when his mother asked for £10
  • He left William Burns with a fractured cheekbone, jaw, eye socket and ribs
  • Mr Burns died after being admitted to hospital where he caught pneumonia
  • His son launched the attack in the family home in Netherton, Merseyside 

Michael Burns, 21, has been jailed for three years and four months after beating his 90-year-old father to death when he flew into a rage because his mother asked for £10 to buy food and cigarettes. Burns is on the autistic spectrum and now has a two-month-old child

A 21-year-old has been jailed for three years and four months after beating his 90-year-old father to death when he flew into a rage because his mother asked the son for £10 for cigarettes. 

Michael Burns left his father William with a fractured cheekbone, eye socket and ribs after punching him repeatedly in the doorway of the family home in Netherton, Merseyside.

The attack took place moments after William and his wife Diane, 58, had returned from church on March 24. 

Mr Burns was rushed to hospital three days later, when officers found him slumped on the living room floor. He died in hospital after catching pneumonia on April 6. 

Burns pleaded guilty to manslaughter in Liverpool Crown Court before being sentenced.

The court heard that he has autistic spectrum disorder and is now a father to a two-month-old child.

Mrs Burns had called up to Burns in his bedroom to ask for £10 on the day of the attack, prosecutor Anya Horwood told the court. 

Burns shouted: ‘I’m sick of this, I’m always giving you money.’ 

The defendant then came downstairs and ran towards his father, who was standing near the front door, with clenched fists.  

‘He began to punch his father to the face and side of body,’ said Ms Horwood.

The attack ended at the family home on Fatherside Drive when Mrs Burns intervened, the court heard.

Burns pleaded guilty to manslaughter over the attack on Fatherside Drive in Netherton, Merseyside. His father was taken to hospital three days after the brutal beating on March 24, where he caught pneumonia and died on April 6. (Pictured: Fatherside Drive)

Mr Burns was seen by a doctor at home the following day but was only sent to hospital after a neighbour called the police on March 27.

They arrived to find Mr Burns collapsed on the floor of the living room. 

When Burns was arrested he told officers he had ‘just flipped’ and admitted hitting his father on previous occasions, although none of them resulted in serious injury, the court heard. 

Lloyd Morgan, defending, said Burns had autistic spectrum disorder.

‘He is a young man wracked with guilt, shame and horror that his actions have killed the father he loved and have caused his mother such pain and despair,’ he said. 

‘No matter what sentence is passed upon him today, he will be suffering a sentence for the rest of his life – the knowledge he took the life of his father.’

Judge Andrew Menary QC, sentencing him at Liverpool Crown Court, said that while he ‘recognised your mother is desperate about the predicament in which you are now placed’, he could not ‘ignore the level of violence used’. (Pictured: Liverpool Crown Court)

The court heard that Mrs Burns had written a statement in which she spoke of the loss of her husband but also of her ‘heartbreak’ at the thought of losing her son.

Honorary Recorder of Liverpool Judge Andrew Menary QC said: ‘I recognise that your mother is desperate about the predicament in which you are now placed.

‘I’m satisfied that you do not represent a significant risk to others in the future and are not therefore to be regarded as dangerous.’

But the judge said he could not ‘ignore the level of violence used’ against Mr Burns, whom he described as slight of build, small and ‘particularly frail’.

The court heard that Burns, from Salford, was now a father to a two-month-old child and had the support of his partner and wider family.

He shook in the dock as he awaited his sentence.

A number of family members in the public gallery were in tears as he was jailed.

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