Liverpool man who murdered his father with a glass kettle is jailed for life

David Lavender assaulted his father while drunk and then drove off in his Audi before crashing on Queens Drive.

An elderly pensioner died after being repeatedly struck on the head with a glass kettle by his drunken son “in a spontaneous eruption of violence.”

The 79-year-old victim, Anthony Lavender, had underlying heart disease and the trauma of the unprovoked assault caused a fatal heart attack.

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His son, David Lavender, an IT expert, pleaded guilty to murder and jailing him for life a judge today told him: “It is clear that your father loved you and was proud of you.

“It is a tragedy beyond words that you were the person who brought his life to an untimely end.”

David Lavender must serve 14 years before he can apply for parole. Image: Merseyside Police

Judge Neil Flewitt, QC, said: “I cannot be sure you intended to kill your father and the evidence suggests it was a spontaneous eruption of violence.”

He ordered that 37-year-old Lavender, who was living at his dad’s home in Woodhall Road, Old Swan at the time of the tragedy on December 29 last year, must serve 14 years before he can apply for parole.

Gordon Cole, QC, prosecuting, told Liverpool Crown Court that shortly before midnight Anthony Lavender, known as Tony, made a 999 call saying his drunken son had hit him with a pot and he was bleeding heavily.

When police and paramedics arrived an hour later they found him collapsed and unresponsive and despite resuscitation attempts he was pronounced dead shortly before 2am.

Anthony Lavender died in the early hours of 30 December. Image: Merseyside Police

Meanwhile his son had driven off in his black Audi which he crashed through the central reservation on the flyover at Queens Drive and Breeze Hill, hitting a lamp post and ending up on the opposite carriageway. He ran off but collapsed nearby and was arrested.

Mr Cole said that a post mortem showed the victim had multiple wounds to his head and face, many from glass damage and the pathologist said the injuries were consistent with two forceful blows with the glass kettle.

He had underlying serious heart disease and the trauma of the incident led to a fatal heart attack.

Andrew Ford, QC, defending, said that the defendant accepted responsibility for killing his father.

“He must live forever with the fact that he killed his dad and that will bear heavily on him as he grows older in prison and the public and family ought to know that he feels that,” he said.

He had been living in London where he set up a tech company building IT systems for SMEs but Covid struck and he was left with massive debts and moved back to Liverpool and moved in with his dad in the 12 months before the killing.

Tensions had been building up between the two men, and the defendant had a drink problem, a degree of paranoia, insecurity and fragility.

On the evening of the tragedy he woke up from a nap to find his dad “glaring” at him and he walked into the kitchen, picked up the kettle and attacked him with it. There had been no fight or provocation.

Mr Ford said that Lavender had not appreciated the extent of what he had done and would not have acted as he did afterwards if he had known.