Northamptonshire man threw knives at his brother during attack

The two men pleaded guilty to growing cannabis
The two men pleaded guilty to growing cannabis

A man smashed the kitchen window of his brother’s home before throwing knives at his sibling, who he accused of keeping money he had given him for safekeeping.

But Darren Docherty escaped being jailed after a judge at Warwick Crown Court heard he had already spent four months in custody on remand.

Docherty, aged 47, of High Street, Weedon, had pleaded guilty to assaulting his brother, threatening behaviour with a knife and three charges of causing criminal damage.

He was sentenced to 12 months in prison suspended for 18 months, with 18 months supervision, and was ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work.

Prosecutor Duncan Craig said in January Darren called his brother Paul numerous times making various threats towards Paul’s partner and to his own ex-partner.

On January 19 Paul was at his home in Coventry, when he saw Darren in the back garden with a sports bag. Darren took out a metal pole and proceeded to smash the outer pane of the double-glazed kitchen window.

Mr Craig said: “The defendant then armed himself with a mallet from the bag and continued to break the window, causing the second pane to break, and then threw the mallet through the window at his brother.”

It missed, but hit the fridge He then picked up a patio chair and threw it through the window.

Mr Craig added: “Then the defendant produced a large black-handled carving knife and threw it at Paul Docherty. It narrowly missed him and hit the fridge. The defendant then produced another similar knife and threw that at his brother, and it caught Paul on the shoulder, causing a half-centimetre puncture wound.”

Darren appeared to leave but returned when he saw his brother at the front door with a phone in his hand. His brother closed the door, and Darren began kicking it, causing significant damage to the door. Paul’s neighbour tried to stop him, but Darren produced a further knife and threatened him with it, added Mr Craig.

Rupert Douglas-Jones, defending, said Docherty had given his brother £5,000 for safekeeping, and believed his brother was not going to return it. He added: “But the real cause was his relapse into alcoholism after a year of being sober, and he had ceased to take his medication and had attempted to take his own life some two weeks before.”

Mr Douglas-Jones said Darren has taken ‘significant steps’ to address his alcoholism while on remand.

Sentencing Darren, Recorder Stephen Linehan QC said: “There are sad cases that come through the criminal courts, and yours is one of them.

“You had been a successful man, but things began going wrong. You began to drink heavily and became an alcoholic, and your life descended into chaos and you began to suffer mental illness as well. Against that background, you began to perceive a grievance against your brother.

“Your conduct on this day was serious, and it can only be met by a sentence of imprisonment. But I’m impressed by what I’ve read about you, so the sentence will be suspended.”