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Son beat 90-year-old dad to death after he refused to lend him a tenner

A son has been convicted of manslaughter after he punched his 90-year-old dad in the face in a row over a tenner.

Michael Burns, 21, was sentenced to three years, four months in prison at Liverpool Crown Court on Friday.

Burns had previously plead guilty to causing his father's death when he punched him in the face and the side of the body on March 24, causing fractures to his cheekbone, jaw, eye socket and ribs.

William and his wife Diane, 58, returned to the family home in Fatherside Drive, Netherton, Merseyside, after attending church when their son lashed out over a request to borrow £10.

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The court heard how mum Diane had asked her son, who suffers from autism, for the money to buy food or cigarettes in the moments before the brutal attack.

Burns shouted: "I'm sick of this, I'm always giving you money."

Ms Horwood said the defendant then came downstairs and ran towards his father, who was standing near the front door, with clenched fists.

She said: "He began to punch his father to the face and side of body."

The attack only ended when Mrs Burns intervened, the court heard.

Ms Horwood said dad William was seen by a doctor at home the following day.

Days later police were contacted by a neighbour who had concerns on March 27 and found Mr Burns slumped on the floor of the living room.

When Burns was arrested he told officers he had "just flipped" and admitted hitting his father on previous occasions, although none of them resulted in serious injury, the court heard.

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Ms Horwood said Mr Burns was admitted to hospital with fractures to his face and ribs but developed pneumonia and died on April 6.

Lloyd Morgan, defending, said Burns had autistic spectrum disorder.

He said: "He is a young man wracked with guilt, shame and horror that his actions have killed the father he loved and have caused his mother such pain and despair."

He added: "No matter what sentence is passed upon him today, he will be suffering a sentence for the rest of his life – the knowledge he took the life of his father."

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The court also heard that Burns, of Victoria Road in Salford, was now a father to a two-month-old child and had the support of his partner and wider family.

His mother had written a statement in which she spoke of the loss of her husband but also of her "heartbreak" at the thought of losing her son.

Passing sentence Recorder of Liverpool Judge Andrew Menary QC said he could not "ignore the level of violence used" against Mr Burns, whom he described as "slight of build", "small" and "particularly frail".

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