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Mother beaten at son's hands

PUBLISHED: 19:01 08 June 2002 | UPDATED: 12:04 03 March 2010

By Amanda Cresswell and Helen Skene



DEVOTED mother Irene Thorpe proudly shows the smiling picture of her son Christopher - but the child's angelic face masks the evil of the man he was to become.

By Amanda Cresswell and Helen Skene

DEVOTED mother Irene Thorpe proudly shows the smiling picture of her son Christopher - but the child's angelic face masks the evil of the man he was to become.

Loner Christopher, now aged 35, is serving 30 months in prison after beating up his mother and father throughout his adult life.

The frail 68-year-old's latest battering was so horrific neighbour's say she came close to death.

She sustained injuries to her nose, face, bruising to her leg, chest and back and was beaten so badly her spleen swelled.

But remarkably, despite the torrent of abuse, the pensioner can only talk lovingly about him as she speaks exclusively to The Evening Star, and clutches Christopher's letters sent from prison, signed "your loving son",

"How do I feel about him?" said Irene, now home from hospital and trying to rebuild her life. "I keep thinking I know he has done wrong and know he hurt me but I still think the world of him. I just can't help it.

"I thought yesterday what did he hurt me for? What have I ever done to him. But that's temper – he's a red head."

"He would never dream of shouting at the neighbours, just his mother. He would be really nice and when I sometimes do things out of place he'd moan at me."

She smiles and says: "It's probably because I have spoilt him since he was a nipper."

But she admitted: "I do feel safer now. I am enjoying myself. On and off I was frightened when he was living here. He wrote to me and says he needs help to control his temper."

The latest beating was the final straw and after visiting the doctor, Irene finally plucked up the courage to speak to police and Christopher was arrested on the doorstep.

Ipswich Crown Court heard at around March this year the beating followed Thorpe, of Pembroke Close, arguing with his mother about a telephone bill.

Kate Stephenson, prosecuting, said a neighbour noticed her injuries and alerted police. She said Thorpe had a history of violence against his mother and late father.

"In 1996 Thorpe punched her repeatedly in the face. Two days later he punched her in the ribs," said Ms Stephenson.

Hugh Vass, mitigating, said Thorpe regretted hurting his mother and had attempted suicide since being remanded in custody.

Sentencing Thorpe, who pleaded guilty to causing his mother actual bodily harm, Judge John Devaux, said: "This is a very troubling case. Your mother and late father have been victims of your violence in the past.

"However your mother says she loves you and does not want to see you get into trouble.

"In fact it was not her who alerted police. I take a very serious view of this case. The maximum sentence I cam impose is one of five years."

The court heard Thorpe was a quiet man who stayed at home playing on his computer and did not socialise.

While the fiend is now safely behind bars, Irene now has the chance to regain some normality back into her troubled life.

"I have been cleaning the house," she said delightedly. "It was mucky before. There was so much dust."

A Suffolk Police spokesman urged domestic violence victims to come forward, and said: "We have, over the years, actively encouraged victims of domestic violence to come forward. It can quite often be a hidden crime, but we are confident other victims are coming forward and hope the trend continues."

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