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Brother stabbed sister in neck after heated argument over their mum’s slippers

A brother stabbed his sister in the neck three times during a disagreement about money for slippers for their mum who suffers from dementia, a court heard.

Peter Bigelow, who has been jailed for 16 months, was the full-time carer for 84-year-old Marion Bigelow.

Janet Griffin, visited their home in Birkenhead, Merseyside last month to give their mum slippers.

A row about their mum’s care and finances soon broke out after Peter handed over the cash, Liverpool Crown Court heard.

Kenneth Grant, prosecuting, said: “The argument resulted in the defendant losing his self-control, and he attacked his sister in a rage, grabbing her around the neck and shoulder, and stabbing her in the back of the neck.”

Bigelow, 54, inflicted three 1cm wounds, which required stitches, Liverpool Echo reports.

Mr Grant told the court the “heated argument” was about “the defendant’s continuing role as their mother’s full-time carer”.

He said Bigelow giving money for the slippers had been agreed with social services the previous day.

After Janet was handed the cash, she said he had tried to chat, but her brother became aggressive and told her to leave.

Liverpool Crown Court heard the siblings got into an argument over caring for their mother

She told the court that Bigelow went into the kitchen as she collected her belongings.

Then she said Bigelow grabbed her, and she described what she believed were a few punches before their mum stepped in, and he let go.

The prosecutor said that as Janet walked away “she felt wetness on the back of her neck and realised that she had been stabbed”.

The victim said she then heard sirens, and the police took her and her mum to safety.

As Bigelow was arrested in his living room, he said: “I know I’ve done wrong. I’ve just lost it.”

He had called police that morning, telling them he had pulled a knife on his sister, “swiped her with it a few times” and had “wanted to kill her”.

During a police interview, Bigelow admitted to stabbing his sister and expressed remorse.

The court heard he had told police he used to have a good relationship with this sister, but it had “broken down”.

He said that morning his sister had “goaded him into a confrontation” before he lost his temper and grabbed a paring knife to try and get her to leave.

Bigelow claimed he stabbed at her sister “intending to hurt her and make her leave, but not to kill her”.

Bigelow, who had no previous convictions, admitted wounding.

Janet said the attack has left her struggling to sleep and she has had to stop working as a holistic therapist.

Judge David Potter noted that the mum was in new accommodation and added: “There are no immediate plans for her to move back home.”

Bernice Campbell, defending, said it was “an incredibly sad case”.

Ms Campbell said Bigelow was “completely exhausted” and didn’t get as much support from his family as he would have liked.

She added: “Quite frankly he was exhausted and he, using his own words, he lost it at that time his sister came, gave the slippers, asked for money for the slippers for her mother and then there was an argument over finances.”

She said: “The family weren’t involved in the day to day duties, but were involved in the finances of his mother.”

Ms Campbell urged the judge to spare Bigelow jail, explaining the property belonged to his mum and when released from custody he would be homeless.

Judge Potter said: “This is a sad situation of a previously good relationship between siblings breaking down over the care of your respective mother.

“Clearly this court is aware there have been previous disagreements between you and your sister about the care of Marion Bigelow, but there had never been any violence, nor I’m satisfied ever any threat of violence from you.

“But due to your loss of control, you took up a dangerous weapon and inflicted a wound to a very vulnerable part of her body, the back of her neck.”

He said the attack could have caused “terrible, life-threatening injuries” or “long term physical disability”, but fortunately did not.

Judge Potter told Bigelow: “I accept the stresses and strains of looking after an elderly and infirm parent has had a detrimental effect upon your own mental health.

“You have felt, whether justified or not, abandoned to her care. But what is clear is you yourself have lived for some time now a lonely and isolated life.”

The judge said the only appropriate punishment was prison as he sentenced him for 16 months and imposed a 10-year restraining order.


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