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Ex-Doncaster footballer killed frail dad in brutal Christmas attack

today16/07/2021

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A former Doncaster Rovers football player has been described as being “like an animal” as he carried out a fatal attack on his 77-year-old dad.

Paul Conlon, who previously played for the Doncaster club, as well as Sunderland and Hartlepool, flew into a rage with his elderly dad Harry on Christmas Eve.

It started after an innocuous comment was made by the pensioner, which Conlon took as personal slight, reports Chronicle Live.

READ MORE: The sick Huddersfield trio who raped a schoolgirl in a playground, her bedroom and on grubby mattresses

He became enraged and launched a sustained attacked, punching, throttling and throwing a shoe at him as well as knocking his mum over.

Newcastle Crown Court heard that Harry, who was 5ft 5 and weighed just over eight stone, was powerless to resist his 43-year-old son’s violence.

Former boxer Harry was said to have told police, before his condition deteriorated, that he had never been hit so hard and that he had been given a “good hiding” by his son.

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He was left with injuries including bleeding on the brain and died after contracting pneumonia on January 18.

Conlon admitted manslaughter and the original charge of murder was dropped. He has now been jailed for 11 years and 10 months.

Newcastle Crown Court heard at Christmas last year, Conlon’s sister, Lyndsey Green, whose pilot husband was working abroad, agreed to go to her parents’ home with her young children.

She had been reassured Conlon, who she considered “angry, agitated and drunk all the time”, would not be present.

But he had fallen out with his girlfriend and was at staying at his parents’ house on Deansfield Close, Sunderland.

On Christmas Eve morning, Conlon had gone to the girlfriend’s home with Christmas presents but was refused entry and his gifts were rejected. He was annoyed and when he got to his parents’ home he started drinking.

When Lyndsey and her children arrived in the afternoon and she realised he was present, she said she was leaving.

Conlon stumbled downstairs intoxicated as his sister said goodbye to her parents and Harry expressed his exasperation at the situation, saying “I’ve had enough of this”.

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John Elvidge QC, prosecuting, said: “That was directed at the defendant and it stung.

“The defendant ran out of the kitchen towards his parents, shouting and swearing and they backed into the living room.

“Lyndsey Green heard her mother say ‘no, no’ in a distressed voice and saw her father put his hands up to protect himself.

“She was unable to see what happened next but she heard a thud and saw her father had fallen to the floor.”

Lyndsey put her crying children in the car then noticed her mum, Linda, was also on the floor.

Mr Elvidge said: “When she reached the doorway of the living room she was shocked to see her brother sitting astride her father, throttling him.

“He was completely overwhelmed and the defendant had completely lost control.

“She told the police he was ‘like an animal’.”

Lyndsey told him to get off but he continued throttling him.

Mr Elvidge said: “She was frightened to intervene but took hold of a phone and used it to call the police and asked them to attend because she believed he was going to kill her parents.”

The prosecutor added: “There is no doubt Paul Conlon’s parents showed him unwavering love and his mother was very supportive of him but that didn’t prevent him going into a rage.

“He embarked on a sustained attack that went further than Lyndsey Green was able to see.”

Mr Elvidge said: “When his father criticised him he reacted with fury.

“In anger he carried out a deliberate, sustained attack involving repeated blows to the head to an elderly man.”

When police arrived on the scene, Harry had blood in his ear and mouth and said he had been punched several times to the head. He said: “My son’s drunk, he bashed me”.

He added that he had hit his mum too and pushed her to the floor but Linda did not want to make a complaint.

Mr Elvidge said: “Harry said they were not going to press charges but their loyalty had its limits.”

However the pensioner then began to wretch and vomit and an ambulance was called.

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Mr Elvidge said: “He remarked he had been a boxer but had never been hit as hard as the defendant hit him.”

Harry, who said he had been punched eight times to the head, was left with bruising to his face, mouth and cheek, cuts to his lip, a tear to his ear and had marks to his head.

A CT scan revealed he had bleeding on the brain. The blood clot expanded and he had brain surgery but he died on January 18 after contracting pneumonia.

The court heard when Conlon was arrested he had blood on his hands and he suddenly lost his temper, struggling with officers and threatening to rape their wives.

Mr Elvidge said: “His demeanour and threatening attitude were reflected by comments he made on the way to the police station asking police if they knew who he was.

“He is a former professional footballer.”

When interviewed he didn’t appear to take it seriously, telling police his dad was a drug dealer.

The court heard Conlon has previous convictions for assault, affray and domestic violence attacks.

Sentencing him, Mrs Justice Lavender said: “This was an horrific assault and must have been terrifying for those who witnessed it, your mother and sister.

“It must have been appalling for your father who, before he died, referred to you giving him a good hiding.”

The judge said he had deprived those who should have been closest to him of a “gentle and much loved member of the family who will be greatly missed”.

She added: “You will have to live with the knowledge you killed your father and caused unutterable misery to your family.”

Dapinder Singh QC, defending, said it was “truly tragic” and that the family have got on well at times.

He added: “He has been a hard worker and a successful entrepreneur who supported his family and lived a law-abiding life at times.”

The court heard he wrote letters of apology to the court and his family and has never been to prison before this.

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Written by: Rother Radio News


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today16/07/2021