A RAGING man punched his sister in the face and hurled a knife at her and her son, a court heard.
In the dock at Reading Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, June 29, was Anthony Thomas McDermott, of Burbridge Close, Calcot.
Joanna McGlew, prosecuting, said Mr McDermott, 38, became enraged during an argument with his sister, Anna Marie McDermott, before throwing the punch.
He also scratched her son, Thomas, on the chest during the altercation and – brandishing a knife – threatened to kill them both.
As they tried to flee in a van, said Ms McGlew, Mr McDermott kicked the wing mirrors and hurled the knife at the windscreen.
In a victim impact statement read out to the court, Ms McDermott said: “I felt absolutely petrified... it went through my mind that we might die.
“I imagined the knife going right through the windscreen.
“I had to take three days off work and I couldn’t stop feeling scared.”
She said the pain in her cheek from the punch was “unbearable” and that she continued to live in fear of her brother because he lived nearby.
Mr McDermott was convicted of assaulting Anna Marie McDermott and Thomas McDermott, possessing a knife, causing criminal damage to the wing mirrors of a Peugeot Bipper van and causing criminal damage to its windscreen with the knife, all in Calcot on January 24.
He had initially denied the knife charge and the assault charges, but was convicted at trial.
In addition, Mr McDermott has cautions for causing actual bodily harm and handling stolen goods, the court heard.
A probation officer said she would have to investigate whether there was a history of domestic violence by Mr McDermott towards other family members before she could report in full.
Simon Grant, defending, was about to address the court to offer mitigation on his client's behalf when the clerk – the legal adviser to the magistrates – interjected.
She said: “This is a situation where a knife was used in very dangerous circumstances – I’m not sure why this hasn’t already been sent to the crown court.”
The clerk said the guidelines for such an offence indicated a prison sentence far longer than six months, which is the maximum available to the magistrates.
After conferring with colleagues, presiding magistrate Gary Norris concurred.
He said Mr McDermott would be sent to Reading Crown Court where he will be sentenced by a judge on a date to be fixed.
Mr McDermott was meanwhile released on conditional bail.