A plumbing boss and his elderly father who launched a terrifying attack on his son’s lover and her family after she refused to have sex with him have been spared jail.
Alex Craig, 36, called on Francis Craig, 79, for help at the house in Frodsham, Cheshire, after dumping mother-of-two Luana Dougherty in a fit of rage over the snub.
Craig Snr threatened to kill Miss Dougherty’s 16-year-old daughter Carlee, pulled her hair and threw her to the ground as she screamed for her mother, who was left with cuts and bruises after being repeatedly kicked by Craig Jnr.
The £72,000-a-year businessman also targeted Carlee’s boyfriend, Finn McBride, 16, throwing a bicycle, pool balls and an electric fan at him.
When police later arrested the father and son, they both claimed to be acting in self-defence and were each sentenced to 18 months in jail, suspended for 18 months after admitting affray at Chester Crown Court. Their not guilty pleas to assault were accepted.
Alex Craig (left), 36, called on Francis Craig (right), 79, for help at the house in Frodsham, Cheshire, after dumping mother-of-two Luana Dougherty in a fit of rage over the snub
Craig Snr threatened to kill Miss Dougherty’s 16-year-old daughter Carlee, pulled her hair and threw her to the ground as she screamed for her mother (left), who was left with cuts and bruises after being repeatedly kicked by Craig Jnr (right)
Craig Jnr was further ordered to pay a total of £3,750 in compensation to the three victims whilst his father must pay £750 in damages.
Both were made a subject to an indefinite restraining order which bans them from contacting Miss Dougherty – a community support worker in her 40s – and the teenagers.
The row broke out on March 19, the morning after Craig Jnr and Miss Dougherty had spent the evening drinking wine together.
When she rejected his advances, he became verbally abusive, telling her that the relationship was over and she would be homeless, and that his father was on his way to ‘sort them all out’.
Laura Knightly, prosecuting, told the court how, when Craig Jnr arrived, he pushed Carlee to the floor and pulled her around as her partner tried to pick her up.
Craig Jnr then pushed Finn onto the gravel before kicking him and throwing his bicycle at him while his father grabbed Carlee’s hair.
The young couple briefly took refuge in the bathroom, along with Carlee’s grandmother who was also at the house, and called the police.
Miss Dougherty, who had left earlier in the confrontation, returned to the property to retrieve her mobile phone but was pushed by her partner, who she tried to stop by swinging a carrier bag containing a bottle of milk.
When police later arrested the father and son, they both claimed to be acting in self-defence and were each sentenced to 18 months in jail, suspended for 18 months after admitting affray at Chester Crown Court
Both were made a subject to an indefinite restraining order which bans them from contacting Miss Dougherty (pictured) – a community support worker in her 40s – and the teenagers
He kicked her in the ribs before he turned his attention to Finn who had tried to intervene and had taken his father’s car keys.
Craig Snr later dragged Finn to the floor while his son threw objects at him and bit him under his left armpit as they tussled.
The pair finally left the house and were arrested at 7.20pm that evening outside Chester railway station.
In interview, Craig Jnr who now lives in Dyserth, North Wales said he had been ‘the victim of an attack’ but then answered ‘No comment’ to all questions asked of him.
His father, who lives in nearby Ruthin, claimed to have been acting in self-defence but admitted grabbing Carlee’s hair to ‘subdue her and force her to her knees.’ He denied making threats to kill.
In mitigation Craig Jnr’s counsel Gareth Roberts said: ‘He comes before the court properly embarrassed and ashamed by his involvement in this very unfortunate matter.
‘He knows he acted in a way that was entirely improper. He wishes he could turn the clock back and act in a different way. He is ordinarily an extremely productive and usually a law-abiding man.
‘The relationship with Luana Dougherty is now entirely over.’
For Craig Snr, John Wyn Williams, said: ‘He had quite a difficult childhood where he was moved to North Wales as an evacuee and was abandoned by his mother.
‘He has health problems and is not in the same financial position as his son – he has limited means.’
Sentencing the pair, Mr Recorder Mark Ainsworth said: ‘Frankly, the events of that day, however you dress them up, are shameful.
Alex Craig and Luana Dougherty pictured in happier times. The relationship is now over, the court heard
‘I find it remarkable that at no point during this incident, which lasted some time, neither of you stepped back to think ‘What on earth am I doing?’
‘At various times objects were thrown including pool balls. I make it absolutely clear, had there been a conviction after trial you would have been looking at immediate imprisonment.
‘While it is tempting to say that you must be going to prison, there’s a realistic prospect of rehabilitation so I must step back and suspend the sentence.’
‘It is quite rare to see father and son in the dock and it’s a very upsetting thing to see too – especially in these circumstances.’