CHICKEN AND CHIPS? I WANTED EGG FU YUNG

A pensioner who stabbed his son to death after he brought back the wrong takeaway meal was jailed for five years.

Ossie James, 74, flew into a rage when 44 year-old Joseph James got chicken and chips instead of a Chinese.

He plunged a kitchen knife into the victim’s heart during the row at their home in Brockley, southeast London.

His wife Marjorie – who could not be forced to give evidence against her husband – dialled 999 after finding the victim lying in a pool of blood.

James later told paramedics and police officers that his son came at him ‘like a raging bull.’

He was cleared of murder but convicted of manslaughter following a trial at the Old Bailey.

Judge Richard Hawkins told him: ‘Joseph returned with a takeaway and you were not happy with what was brought back and its condition.

‘An argument followed with your son. He offended against your sensibilities about what was duty or your position as a father.

‘He may well have offered some violence towards you. You took a kitchen knife and unlawfully stabbed him in the heart. It was a trivial incident.’

The court heard police were called to the house at [14] Brockill Crescent in Brockley, southeast London, at 5.40pm on February 21 last year.

Joseph James was found lying on his back in the hallway with a stab wound to his chest.

Paramedics tried to revive his heart but he was pronounced dead on arrival at hospital at 7.15pm.

Prosecutor Neil Moore told jurors: ‘There were only three people in the house at the time the stab wound was inflicted – the deceased, the defendant and the defendant’s wife Marjorie.

‘It is fair to say she didn’t see the fatal blow being inflicted. There are no eyewitnesses.’

The wound was 12cm deep and had passed between the ribs to puncture the left ventricle of the heart.

It had also sliced part of the rib bone and the appearance of the wound suggested the knife blade had been twisted.

Ossie James gave no explanation for the stab wound other than a few comments at the scene and a brief prepared statement at the police station.

‘When the police arrived they found him sitting in a chair in the living room while his son was being treated in the hallway,’ said Mr Moore.

Ossie James had to be restrained by officers as he kept repeating: ‘He just came at me like a raging bull.’

He added: ‘I’m sitting down and just saw him come towards me like a raging bull and he pushed me down on the kitchen floor.

‘He ran towards the cupboard and collapsed on the floor.’

At Lewisham police station he gave the statement: ‘He came at me like a raging bull and pushed me down on the kitchen floor and hit me on the head with something. I did not murder him.’

He later gave the explanation of the takeaway to a psychiatrist.

James, of (14) Brockill Crescent, Brockley, southeast London, denied murder.

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MEMO: Ossie James DOB 12/4/36.
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