Man who murdered his 78-year-old father after row given life

Glasgow High Court, where the case was heard.
Glasgow High Court, where the case was heard.
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A man was yesterday jailed for life for murdering his 78-year-old father by strangling him.

John Sharp, 48, from Greenock, throttled his frail father, who walked with a zimmer, so violently that he shattered a bone in his neck and his Adam’s apple.

The brutal attack was sparked by Sharp confronting him about why he dangled him out a window when he was 15-months-old.

It took place at John Sharp senior’s home in Ann Street, Greenock, on 9 January. Judge Lady Stacey jailed Sharp for life with a minimum period of 15 years behind bars.

She told him: “While I entirely accept you did not set out that night before going to his house to harm your father, I also know the jury did not accept your evidence.”

The judge agreed with defence QC Ian Duguid that the situation “is a tragedy for the whole family”.

In evidence Sharp claimed that he acted in self defence and told the jury that his father punched him on the face as he went to leave and then punched him a further three times in the ribcage.

He alleged that he hit his dad in retaliation after becoming angry and then pushed him, causing him to fall into a coffee table.

Sharp added: “I just smacked his arm and he went through the coffee table and on to the floor.”

The accused said he went over and tried to pick up his father, but he was a dead weight.

He added: “I went round his neck with my arm and pulled him up.” Sharp claimed the injuries to his father’s neck were caused when he lifted him in the choke hold.

Sharp told the jury at the High Court in Glasgow that he had his father rowed as they sat having a cup of tea.

He said: “I asked him why when I was 15-months-old he held me outside a window.”

Sharp also claimed: “He said I preferred my step-dad to him.”

But the jury convicted him of murdering his father. Police raced to Mr Sharp senior’s home in Ann Street, Greenock, after a neighbour dialled 999 after hearing raised voices and a thud. When they arrived Sharp had to be arrested after brandishing a knife. Mr Sharp senior was found lying dead in the living room in front of the couch. A table was overturned and two legs had been broken off a coffee table. His broken dentures were lying nearby. The cause of death was compression of the neck and ischemic heart disease.