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Jonathan Keal denies attempted murders in 'frenzied' attack on family

A MAN armed himself with knives, dumb bells and a cricket bat before launching a “frenzied" attack on his sleeping mother, father and 90-year-old grandmother in their New Forest home, a court heard.

Jonathan Keal plunged knives into Robert Keal, scissors into Lynda Keal and set upon Marjorie Blacker, who had heart disease and early onset dementia, Salisbury Crown Court was told.

Rooms at the family's Dale House home, in Matfield Road, Sandleheath, near Fordingbridge, were left in disarray and the furniture covered in blood, while during the attack Jonathan told his mother: “This isn’t me, it’s the devil”, prosecutor Kerry Maylin said.

The trial is being held at Salisbury Crown Court
The trial is being held at Salisbury Crown Court

Jonathan (36) has gone on trial today (Wednesday) accused of attempting to murder the trio and an alternative charge of wounding each with the intent to cause them grievous bodily harm.

He has denied all six charges and his defence has claimed he was insane.

The jury has to determine whether he was sane or not and, if not, whether he knew what he was doing was wrong at the time of the incident.

Ms Maylin explained Jonathan had gone through “years of illicit drug use” and lived in Bristol independently until choosing to go back to live with his parents in the summer of 2018.

He was on prescription medication but had stopped taking it and tried to take his own life on 25th September 2018.

The emergency services were called and Jonathan was rushed to Salisbury’s Odstock Hospital, where he was assessed and released the following day.

Just after midnight on 26th September he attacked his parents, Ms Maylin said, adding it was impossible to tell whom he set upon first.

His father, aged 64 at the time, had been doing paperwork and was asleep in a wicker chair in the downstairs lounge when he was woken by Jonathan reining down punches and stabbing him.

Ms Blackman cannot give evidence as she has not been told what happened to her. However, forensics showed Jonathan set upon her while she was in bed, with blood stains marking her headboard and bedding.

He also broke into his parents' locked master bedroom to attack his 65-year-old mother as she slept, hitting and trying to stab her.

He then resumed the attack on his father before going back upstairs, finding his mother locked away in a dressing room. He eventually punctured the skin on her neck with scissors.

Ms Maylin said when he went downstairs he again attacked his father, who was on the phone to the emergency services in the porchway, hitting him multiple times with a cricket bat.

The call operator could hear Mr Keal pleading with his son to stop and the pair “scrapping”, as well as Jonathan repeatedly saying “I’m sorry”, the prosecutor added.

Neighbours reported hearing blows and Mrs Keal crying for help through an upstairs window.

One saw Jonathan leave the property with blood on his hands, then return and land more blows before again coming out and fleeing the scene.

The trial continues.

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