Son denies attempted murder

Crime scene: Police outside the house in Blackpool Road North , St Anne's, where Stefan and Janek Martens lived
Crime scene: Police outside the house in Blackpool Road North , St Anne's, where Stefan and Janek Martens lived

A St Annes man tried to kill his 97-year-old father by using a hammer and a saw as weapons, a court was told.

Stefan Martens later made a call to the emergency services, saying: “I think I have killed my father. I just lost it this morning and attacked him. He’s a bit of a mess.”

Preston Crown court heard that Janek Martens survived, despite being gravely injured and suffering a cardiac arrest at one point.

Paramedics found him at the address in Blackpool Road North, St Annes, with blood all over his face and his arms. He had a wound to the back of the head, cuts to his face and a 4cm long cut to the right of his neck, as well as an arm injury.

His son, aged 57, denies attempted murder but admitted causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

A jury heard from the prosecution that the son told a psychiatrist assessing him following arrest, that he had thoughts the previous night about killing his father.

Francis McEntee, prosecuting, said that on the morning of March 30, Stefan Martens rang Lancashire Police and told an operator “I think I have killed my father”.

During the call, the defendant spoke of having attacked him with a saw, a hammer and a chair. He went on to repeat “I think he’s dead”.

Mr McEntee told the court: “ The prosecution case quite plainly is the defendant tried to kill his father and we say he clearly believed he had done so. He accepted causing his injuries and that he intended to cause him really serious harm.

Family, friends and neighbours speak of a close bond between the defendant and his father, said the prosecution. In the past few years the father had become very dependent on his son. They had lived together following the death of the defendant’s mother.

The night before, the defendant had been seen making his way home at about 7pm and seemed a bit unsteady on his feet.

The following morning, a neighbour heard a dull thudding noise from the address, at about 8am. There were a number of repeated thuds which went on for around five seconds.

The call to the police was made at 8.31 am. Forensic evidence confirmed Stefan Martens was involved in the attack on his father, the court heard.

The defendant had also mentioned in the call “Mental health team were round a couple of days ago. I have been feeling suicidal”. He also said he had been feeling “homicidal”.

Martens complied with all police instructions when officers went to the home. It was noted he had blood on his shirt and on his hands. His father was found lying on the floor in a rear dining room and had been subjected to a sustained assault. Paramedics found he had a very low blood pressure.

Mr Martens’ condition rapidly deteriorated and he suffered a cardiac arrest and was resuscitated. His condition deteriorated a number of times, needing medical intervention. Yet despite a catalogue of injuries, he survived.

Mr McEntee added: “The father has declined to make a statement.” The defendant, who had been arrested at the scene, underwent a mental health assessment by an on-call psychiatrist.

He told the psychiatrist assessing him he had started to have thoughts about killing his father the previous night and those thoughts persisted throughout the night.

(Proceeding)