Hartlepool man fractured stepfather's eye socket in attack on victim's own doorstep

A man has been jailed for an attack on his stepfather which left him with a fractured eye socket and cheek.

Thursday, 4th August 2022, 1:19 pm
Updated Thursday, 4th August 2022, 2:33 pm

Michael O’Keefe lashed out at his stepfather of 21 years after being turned away from the family home leaving him bloodied and in hospital.

Teesside Crown Court heard the pair had previously had a good relationship but it deteriorated due to O’Keefe’s use of drugs.

O’Keefe had previously been told to leave his parents’ home when money went missing.

Michael O'Keefe.

He went round on the night of July 11 last year to see his mother who was out.

His stepfather swore at him to go away and pushed O’Keefe in the chest believing he was trying to get inside.

Prosecutor Emma Atkinson said: “He didn’t back away but came forward in what was described as an angry manner.”

Fearing he would be assaulted the stepfather swung a punch and stumbled forward.

Ms Atkinson added: “He felt the defendant’s arm around his neck dragging him to the floor.”

The prosecution said O’Keefe kicked him three times to the face while O’Keefe claimed he only punched him.

His stepfather suffered a fractured eye socket and cheek bone and bruising to his arms and body.

He was taken to the University Hospital of North Tees and transferred to The James Cook University Hospital.

O’Keefe, 41, who is also serving a jail sentence for burglary, was originally charged with grievous bodily harm with intent, but accepted unlawful wounding.

Michele Turner, mitigating, said he had gone to his parents’ house to share the news that his partner was pregnant, and things got out of hand.

She said: “The defendant says through me that he's exceptionally remorseful for this situation escalating as it did.

"He certainly never intended with any reason or any aim to cause any harm to his stepfather and that is regrettable for him.”

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Ms Turner said O’Keefe, previously of Catcote Road, Hartlepool, is now drug free and plans to stay that way when he is released for his family.

Recorder Andrew Sutcliffe QC said is behaviour was “totally inexcusable”.

Sentencing him to eight months imprisonment Recorder Sutcliffe said: “You went beyond what could be said to be acting in self defence and you caused serious injuries to your stepfather.”