Son found guilty of trying to kill father

Joseph Peachey
Joseph Peachey

AN EASTBOURNE man who tried to smother his dying father as he lay helpless in a hospital bed has been found guilty of attempted murder.

Joseph Peachey said he could not bear to watch his father die just months after his mother had also died from cancer.

He was caught red-handed trying to smother 79-year-old Albert Peachey as he lay in a deep coma at Eastbourne District General Hospital.

Police were forced to shoot Peachey with a stun gun when he attacked a nurse, security staff and police officers called to deal with him.

During a four-day trial Peachey, 48, admitted assaulting them but denied trying to kill his dad.

He had cared for his parents after they retired to Eastbourne from London six years ago.

His mother died in the same hospital in June last year and his father Albert was diagnosed with cancer in November.

Peachey and his sister were told their father had only days to live by a consultant Raj Harshen after the retired plumber suffered a massive stroke on December 20.

A short time later hospital staff overheard Peachey telling his father to die because he had “no life” left.

He asked them how long his father would last if his oxygen mask was removed and was told it was only helping to make his breathing easier until he died naturally.

Ward assistant Jaydene Simmons said Peachey told her he wanted to put a pillow over his father’s face.

Later, senior staff nurse Robert Wilson found Peachey trying to suffocate his father behind curtains drawn around his bed.

Mr Wilson said, “He was squeezing his father’s nose with his right hand and had the other hand over his mouth. He was blocking his airway and was applying considerable pressure so that he could not breathe.

“There is no doubt whatsoever in my mind about what I saw.”

The pensioner died five days later on Christmas Day from the effects of the stroke as doctors had predicted.

Peachey denied trying to end his father’s life and claimed he was checking to see if he had his false teeth in.

He said his father had told him he did not want to die in hospital and he had wanted to nurse him at home before he suffered the stroke.

Mr Harshan said Peachey seemed genuinely concerned for his father but had refused to have any care support at home.

Peachey, of Badlesmere Road, Eastbourne, was unanimously found guilty by the jury after just over two hours.

Judge Richard Hayward ordered a pre-sentence report to assess the danger Peachey poses to the public.

He has a long list of previous convictions for violence and was jailed for 18 months for threatening bar staff in Eastbourne with two knives in 2008.

Judge Richard Hayward said, “I will ask for a report not least because I want an assessment of dangerousness. This is a very serious matter and his behaviour on that day was extremely disturbing.”

Peachey was remanded in custody until he is sentenced on August 19.

After the guilty verdict wasa returned, Detective Inspector Paul Phelps from Eastbourne CID said, “We are very pleased with the verdict reached by the jury today.”