Loving family man assaulted disabled brother in “moment of temper loss”

Chesterfield magistrates' court.

Chesterfield magistrates' court.

A family man who has spent nearly all his life looking after his disabled brother has been given unpaid work for assaulting him in a “moment of temper”.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on Tuesday, June 7, how Andrew Copcutt, 45, clashed heads with his wheelchair bound brother at Hasland, Chesterfield, while he was trying to transfer him into a car to bring him to a family lunch.

District Judge Andrew Davison said: “This was a case where the defendant was found guilty of an assault on the basis of using his head to restrain his brother in a moment of temper loss and this was captured on CCTV.”

The court heard how Copcutt’s brother is blind, wheelchair bound and cannot hear properly and lives in residential accommodation but on the day in question he was being transferred to the defendant’s home for a family meal.

Probation officer Katie Wibberly said the defendant believes the offence was blown out of proportion and was misinterpreted and he had not caused any harm to his brother after making contact with the back of his brother’s head.

Mrs Wibberly added that Copcutt expressed remorse in that his brother and the defendant have not been allowed contact since the incident and Copcutt has been concerned about how this has affected his brother.

The court heard how Copcutt is a married, self-employed courier with three children and he is of previous good character and has been caring for his brother for 34 years.

Defence solicitor Treve Lander said: “We have a man who has looked after his brother all his life. He was helpful when their parents were aged in their 80s and couldn’t deal with Mr Copcutt’s brother anymore.

“The defendant has been helping his brother while he has been living at a residential home quite happily.

“He was helping him on this particular day when things went tragically wrong. He had picked up his brother and the whole process of transferring someone into a car was extremely difficult.

“We don’t detract from the fact there was a moment of madness but this was a loving relationship of many years and there had been an effort to bring this man to the defendant’s home to be with the whole family.”

District Judge Andrew Davison described the incident as a “sad and tragic case” and accepted that the defendant used his head in a “moment of temper loss” but defined this as a “coming together of heads” and not as a headbutt.

Copcutt, of Bailey Crescent, Mansfield, was sentenced to a 12 month community order with 100 hours of unpaid work after the incident in December, 2015.

He was also ordered to pay £200 compensation, a £60 victim surcharge and £620 costs.

District Judge Davison urged the residential home to allow future contact between Copcutt and his brother and to ensure transport arrangements could be made when the complainant needed to be transferred to the defendant’s address.