A FATHER has described how he lives in fear of his own son who stabbed him in the back.

Gordon Spilling was attacked by Andrew Spilling at his family home in the Gossops Green area of Crawley.

He said his son, who has been troubled by alcohol and drug use, turned up out of the blue to demand family photographs.

After scuffling and asking his son to leave, Mr Spilling was stabbed in the back and in the arm.

“I still struggle every day with the fact that a son could stab his father in the back after being invited in,” he said.

It has left him wanting to leave his home of 54 years just to make sure his son cannot find him.

At Lewes Crown Court Andrew Spilling, 58, admitted wounding without intent to inflict grievous bodily harm, and possession of cannabis.

Lewes Crown Court.

Lewes Crown Court.

His Honour Judge Stephen Mooney said the crime was so serious that a suspended sentence could not be justified, and jailed Spilling for two years and four months.

Keith Hadrill, prosecuting, said the incident happened on August 28 last year.

Spilling demanded photographs of his late grandparents and his mother, who died two years ago.

His father agreed to provide pictures, but said he could not hand over images immediately, which Spilling did not accept.

When Spilling refused to leave, his father went to neighbours in a bid to get help but was followed by Spilling who stabbed him.

Mr Spilling said he lived in the marital home for 54 years, and said his son never asked about his mother’s cancer and did not attend her funeral.

He said: “My wife died two years ago and I had just started to get my life back to normal. But all this disappeared when my son stabbed me in the back.

“I will be looking to move away so that Andrew doesn’t know where I live.

“It will be devastating to leave. I thought I’d be here for the rest of my life, but I feel Andrew has left me no choice.

“I’m apprehensive about going to my front door or going to my local shops where Andrew and his friends are often hanging around.”

Andrew Spilling has been jailed for stabbing his father Gordon Spilling in the back in Crawley

Andrew Spilling has been jailed for stabbing his father Gordon Spilling in the back in Crawley

The court heard how the relationship between the pair was strained and there has been a grievance between them for more than 25 years.

It was revealed that Spilling’s mother was often the peacemaker between the two and the wider family.

Mr Spilling said his son’s use of drugs and alcohol abuse had “destroyed” their relationship.

Amy Packham, defending, said her client was upset about not being told about his mother’s illness and funeral.

She said the relationship between the two was beyond the point of repair.

Judge Mooney said: “This is a tragic case. The bonds between parents and their children are perceived to be unbreakable. But when they are broken, they are broken irrevocably.

“It fills me with great sadness that you have deprived yourself of the relationship with your father.”

Spilling, of Hawkesmoor Road, Crawley, is now behind bars.