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24-year-old Stratford man jailed after stabbing his mum

A Stratford man brutally attacked his mother in her own home, stabbing her to the hip and repeatedly strangling her until she passed out – then tried to blame her for what happened.

But on the day of his trial at Warwick Crown Court, Maximillian Lewis pleaded guilty to making a threat to kill his mother Fiona Shawcross and maliciously wounding her.

Lewis (24) of Woodman Court, Stratford, was jailed for six years and given an indefinite restraining order banning him from having any contact with his mother or grandfather.

Prosecutor Martin Liddiard said: “Until today his case was that the victim attacked him and, in effect, stabbed herself.”

But what actually happened is that on Christmas Eve last year Miss Shawcross was subjected to ‘a savage and sustained attack by her son,’ both inside and outside her home.

Miss Shawcross was at her parents’ home when Lewis called her, upset about a letter he had received from the council which he thought affected his tenancy agreement, and then turned up.

She decided to leave, because he smelt of alcohol and she did not want a scene at her parents, and he followed acting in a threatening manner, before turning back towards his grandparents’ home.

Miss Shawcross phoned her father to warn him not to let Lewis in, but by the time she got home he was sitting on an old sofa which was in the front garden waiting to be taken away.

She asked him to leave because he looked ‘absolutely smashed,’ but he forced his way in and pushed her onto the sofa inside, threatening: “That’s it this time mum, I’m going to kill you.”

He began dragging her around the room, then kneeling hard on her chest each time she tried to get up before getting a knife from the kitchen and telling her: “I know how to kill.”

He then sat on her chest and pressed his forearms against her neck, preventing her from breathing, until she passed out.

When she came round he held the knife to her neck and threatened to slit her throat before pulling her onto her side and stabbing her to the lower part of her hip.

After he again pressed his forearm against her neck, she passed out for a second time, and when she came round she fled in terror from the house.

But Lewis chased after her and pulled her to the ground where he again pressed his forearm across her neck until she lost consciousness, at which he got up and stood astride her.

Fortunately that was seen by a woman who, as Lewis then dragged his mother back into the house, called the police, who arrived ‘in some number’ and could hear Miss Shawcross screaming.

But when officers went in, Lewis ‘began to suggest he had done little or nothing wrong,’ claiming he had just pulled her back into the house after she had passed out, said Mr Liddiard.

As a result of the brutal attack, Miss Shawcross had a wound to her hip, several cuts to her face, bruising and was in extreme pain to her chest from where he had knelt on her.

Mr Liddiard, who said Miss Shawcross’s mother had died last week, added that she wanted a restraining order banning Lewis from contacting her or her father, which Recorder Andrew Smith QC agreed to impose.

Nick Devine, defending, said that Lewis, who had been ‘taking steps while on remand to address the difficulties in his behaviour,’ had only learned of his grandmother’s death when he told him in the court cells before the hearing.

“Mr Lewis has long had a troubled relationship with his mother. He lived with her until he was 17, and prior to him moving out, she had taken in a new partner with whom he did not get on.

“Not only did he leave home, but he and Miss Shawcross did not speak for two years until the partner was off the scene.

“Prior to this incident relationships with his mum were an awful lot better. The day before he had helped move a sofa out of the house, and they had a perfectly pleasant day.”

But on Christmas Eve had had become distressed by the letter from the council, and had been drinking before turning up at his grandparents’ home, and words were exchanged.

Instead of going on his way, he went to his mother’s home, ‘and from that moment on, matters that had been boiling came to a head,’ added Mr Devine.

Jailing Lewis, Recorder Smith told him: “You committed both of these offences against your mother during a prolonged incident at her home on Christmas Eve.

“Your relationship with your mother was a strained one, but one which provided no justification for your actions.

“I am satisfied you were affected by drink... and your mother became the unrelenting target of your frustration.

“You were waiting in the front garden of her home, and what followed was a sustained and wholly unjustified episode of violence and threats.

“You made a direct and obvious threat to kill her. This was a threat you intended her to believe, and one you reinforced with a series of unlawful and violent acts. This was a terrifying incident.

“That you had done nothing wrong was a stance you maintained until today. Your defence statement accused your mother of being responsible, saying she was the one who first took hold of the knife.”

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