A 76-year-old man broke his hip after he fell when his son lunged at him in a rage because he brought him supermarket fried chicken instead of the brand he had asked for. Norman Bell needed surgery and spent 11 days in hospital because his hip was so badly fractured – but he still pleaded with a judge to show his son mercy. David Bell, 46, avoided jail after recorder Richard Woolafall accepted his dad’s pleas. The bizarre incident happened on February 8 as Bell and his parents prepared to visit Bell’s son who had asked for some KFC fried chicken.
Alcoholic Bell met his parents at a bus stop on Hartlepool’s Coast Road – but when he discovered his mum had brought a supermarket variety of chicken instead he became angry. When Mr Bell got fed up with the antics and went to walk home, his son stood in his path with clenched fists and shouted in his face. Nathan Moxon, prosecuting, said: “He stepped backwards to avoid the defendant, fell to the floor and felt what he described as excruciating and unbearable pain to his left hip.” Police were called and Bell was arrested at the scene.
His dad was taken to hospital where x-rays revealed he had a fractured hip. Bell had drunk half a bottle of whisky and four cans of strong lager that day. He was facing prison but his dad made a plea through lawyers to the court for him to remain free. Mr Moxon added: “His father said his son has been undertaking alcohol treatment, that this has been effective and he would not like to see his recovery derailed by any custodial sentence.” Rupert Doswell, mitigating for Bell who admitted grievous bodily harm, said he did not mean to fracture his dad’s hip.
He added: “For the first time in a long time there does seem some hope he will rid himself of his addiction. He has made progress. He has been alcohol-free for 28 days.” Bell, of Tower Street, Hartlepool, was given 12 months prison suspended for 18 months with probation provision. Recorder Woolfall told him: “You are going to have to get a grip of your life. Not only for yourself, but for those around you. But for the fact you have made progress and your father does not want you to go to prison, I would have locked you up. Consider yourself extremely fortunate.”