A MAN who assaulted his 80-year-old parents during a row at their Crewkerne home has been given a suspended prison sentence and banned from contacting them for five years.

David Porter grabbed his father around the neck and threatened him with a knife leaving him so terrified he made a 999 call to the police.

When his mother then went to make an emergency call. Porter also threatened her with a knife and shouted: “I will do you as well.”

Yeovil Magistrates' Court heard the father was left so afraid he refused to take prescribed medication for fear he would be unable to call for help in the future.

He was also reliving the incident through nightmares, had become hyper-vigilant and was constantly looking over his shoulder.

Porter, 50, of Lyde Road, Yeovil, pleaded guilty to assaulting William Porter by beating and a further assault on Margaret Porter in February last year.

Ann Ellery, prosecuting, said: "He said that Porter had grabbed him around the neck and threatened him with a knife and said his son was angry and behaving erratically.

“The situation began to escalate and there was an argument over money and the assault on his mother occurred when she was threatened with a knife.”

In a victim impact statement, Mr Porter said he and his wife had suffered health issues for many years and the incident had left him unable to sleep.

“Some nights I will not even go to bed at all for fear of being attacked and relive what happened in nightmares,” he said.

“We do not want to leave our home but are frightened of vengeful attacks and my wife is afraid to be in the house on her own.”

Neil Priest, defending, said there had been no contact between Porter and his parents since and there had been no pre-meditation to harm either of them.

“He has been unable to deal with the split from his long-term partner and could not cope with the separation from her and his adult children,” said Mr Priest.

“He is a broken man and has blamed his father in some way for the imposition of a non-molestation order preventing him from contacting his family and was therefore argumentative with him that day.”

District Judge Angela Brereton sentenced Porter to 15 weeks' custody, suspended for 12 months and 30 days rehabilitation activity.

He was made subject to a five-year restraining order during banning him from contacting his parents and must not enter Crewkerne. Costs of £100 and a £128 victim surcharge were imposed.