Violent controlling son took over frail mother’s home and subjected her to abuse - Leeds Crown Court

Daniel Sowerby.

A son who subjected his frail elderly mother to violence and threats after taking over her home has been sent to prison.

Daniel Sowerby was locked up after a court heard he took money from the 85-year-old victim and made her live in fear of him.

Leeds Crown Court was told Sowerby even controlled what his mother could watch on television and banned her from having clocks.

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Austin Newman, prosecuting, said Sowerby, 46, carried out the offending after moving himself in to his mother’s home in Outwood, Wakefield.

Mr Newman said: “He was abusing whisky, cider and strong lager and contributing nothing to his own upkeep, expecting his elderly mother to do everything for him.

“He became increasingly controlling and abusive.”

Sowerby took £10 each day from his mother to buy alcohol and demanded further amounts to pay for his mobile phone and to bet on football.

Sowerby threatened the victim with violence if she refused him money and would call her abusive names.

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The prosecutor added: “He took over her spare room and told her not to enter it.

“He told her what she could and couldn’t watch on TV and banned her from having clocks in the living room because he did not like the tick tock noise that they made.”

The court heard Sowerby pushed his mother over in the living during a row on January 5 this year.

Her legs “twisted” beneath her but Sowerby took her by the arm and dragged her to her feet.

The victim was still in pain a week after the incident.

Sowerby was arrested on January 12 when a neighbour contacted police to report that the pensioner was being abused by her son.

Sowerby had taken around £1,800 from his mother during the period of offending.

The pensioner described in a victim statement how she continued to be terrified of her son and did not want to see him again.

Sowerby, of Bevan Close, Outwood, pleaded guilty to coercive and controlling behaviour in a family relationship.

Stephen Welford, mitigating, said Sowerby had admitted the offences at an early stage.

He added: “He has himself to blame and he accepts that.”

Mr Welford said Sowerby would seek help to address his offending while in custody.

Sowerby was jailed for two years, three months.

Judge James Spencer, QC, said: “You were rough and abusive towards her.

“She is 85 and has her own problems and yet you made them worse.

“You have takeN her money and you have terrified her. It is terrible.

“I have no sympathy for you.”

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