An 80-year-old ended up brawling on the ground with his son when a dispute over the younger man’s gay relationship got out of hand.
But while Jason Manning accused his father Albert of homophobic insults, the retired travelling showman said he was only concerned that his son’s partner was a ‘gold digger’, Bury St Edmunds Magistrates’ Court heard on Monday.
Albert Manning, of Kiln Lane, Elmswell, pleaded guilty to assaulting Jason Manning by beating on April 28.
Ian Devine, prosecuting, said father and son lived in separate static mobile homes on the same plot of land.
He said Jason told police that at 18 he told his parents he was gay and was ostracised from the family, but when he married he was allowed to move in next to his parents.
His wife and mother had since died and he now lived in the mobile home with his partner, Gary Hunter.
Mr Devine said: “On this occasion he had cause to go to his father’s home to speak to him about some jewellery. ”
Jason told police he received ‘a torrent of abuse’ and his father said: “I don’t want that bastard [Mr Hunter] in my house. I’ll put an axe through his head and you and all.”
Jason’s statement said that as he walked away Albert grabbed his hair and punched him in the back of the head before pushing him into a hedge. He claimed he was hit several times while on the floor and said his father grabbed his throat and punched him several times while saying ‘die, you bastard, die’.
Mr Devine said Mr Hunter’s statement corroborated Jason’s. He added that Albert admitted to police that he had hit Jason but he told them: “My son is gay, but that’s not a problem.”
Mr Devine said, despite Albert’s age, the police had had to charge him instead of a caution because it was ‘domestic violence’ and homophobic.
Nick Jennaway, in mitigation, said the father and son relationship was ‘fraught’.
He added: “Albert felt Gary was taking advantage of his son. He described Gary Hunter as a gold digger after Jason’s money.
“He felt Gary Hunter was going to take the jewellery and go off with it. He wanted to talk to Jason about it.”
Mr Jennaway said Albert wanted to tell the court he did not have a problem with his son’s sexuality.
He said Albert claimed Jason had said ‘hit me, hit me’ and was facing him when he did. Albert said he was laying on the floor as Jason had said ‘die, you bastard, die’ .
Albert was fined £100 with £85 costs, £50 compensation and £20 victim surcharge. The court also made a restraining order for 12 months not to enter Jason’s home and only to contact him and Gary Hunter through solicitors.