Wealthy son hired dad, 78, to 'sort out' lover who refused to have sex with him

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Alex and his father Francis Craig were each given suspended jail sentences (Image: Cavendish Press)
Alex and his father Francis Craig were each given suspended jail sentences (Image: Cavendish Press)

A mother was left injured in a horrific revenge attack when her lover hired his retired father to help 'sort her out' after she refused to have sex with him.

Alex Craig, 36, and his 78-year-old father Francis Craig carried out the attack when Alex dumped Luana Dougherty. Luana's daughter Carlee, 16, and her boyfriend Finn McBride were also injured.

The court heard, Craig snr, a retired builder, arrived at Miss Dougherty's house on March 19 and went on to threaten Carlee by saying he would kill her as he pulled her hair and threw her to the ground.

Craig jnr then kicked Miss Dougherty, a mother-of-two, twice in her ribs and repeatedly kicked Finn McBride, 16. During the attack, he also threw a bicycle, pool balls, and an electric fan at the teenager.

Miss Dougherty, a community support worker from Cheshire, was left with bruising to her ribs, a cut to her right arm, and a cut to her lip. Carlee suffered a bump to the side of her head and a bloody nose while Finn suffered cuts to his knees, a bite mark under his left arm, and a split lip.

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Wealthy son hired dad, 78, to 'sort out' lover who refused to have sex with himLuana Dougherty was kicked twice in her ribs in the revenge attack

The pair were later arrested, who claimed they were acting in self-defence. However, at Chester Crown Court they admitted affray and were each sentenced to 18 months in jail suspended for 18 months - they pleaded not guilty to assault which was accepted, reported in the Manchester Evening Post.

Craig jnr was ordered to pay a total of £3,750 in compensation to the three victims while his father, now 79, was ordered to pay £750 in damages. Both were also made subject to an indefinite restraining order which bans them from contacting Miss Dougherty and the two teenagers.

Miss Laura Knightly, prosecuting, said: “Alex was still drunk and he became verbally abusive with Luana after she declined to have sexual intercourse with him that morning. He said the relationship was over and she would be homeless. He then continued to drink alcohol and told Luana that his father, Francis Craig, was on his way to 'sort them all out’.

“Luana decided to leave the property at around 1.30pm to get one of her other daughters away but soon after she left, Carlee called her and said Francis had arrived. Luana returned to the house and tried to keep out of the way to avoid a confrontation with Alex or Francis - but Alex found her and began to become confrontational again, so Luana left in her car.

“Carlee and her boyfriend Finn tried to go out but met Alex and Francis in the doorway. Carlee pushed Alex back to try to get out of the door but Francis pushed Carlee and threw her to the floor. Francis then pulled her around and she felt a hit to her face and Finn picked her up.

“When outside, Alex Craig stuck his leg behind Finn and pushed him onto the gravel floor. As Finn was walking away, Alex kicked him and threw Finn's bicycle at him twice. Francis then grabbed Carlee's hair, causing her to scream for her mum. Finn pushed Francis off Carlee. Francis told Finn that he could hurt him if he wanted to and that he would seriously hurt him.

“Finn and Carlee ran back to the house, together with Carlee's grandmother who was with them and they hid in the bathroom. Carlee rang the police whilst she and Finn then went into the games room. In the meantime Luana realised she had forgotten her mobile telephone and returned to the property but found Alex and Francis Craig outside."

Wealthy son hired dad, 78, to 'sort out' lover who refused to have sex with himPictured is Alex and Luana in happier times.

She added: ''As she went into the house, Alex started to push her. Finn tried to get Alex to stop but Alex then pushed Finn. Luana swung a carrier bag with a bottle of milk at Alex to stop him pushing Finn but Alex then pushed her onto the sofa.

“She went outside but Alex followed her and kicked her in the ribs. She ran to the car and Alex turned his attention to Finn, kicking and hitting him. Alex then kicked Luana in the ribs again as she tried to intervene. Luana saw Francis's car keys on the floor and picked them up to try to keep the defendants there while the police arrived.

“She tried to get away into the garden but Alex appeared to think she had his phone as he was saying 'Give me my phone' before he tackled her to the floor. Francis Craig said ‘Just pull her hair'. Both of the defendants then pulled her hair. Luana managed to throw the car keys to Finn and he ran into the house. The defendants both got off Luana and ran after Finn.

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“Finn hid in a bedroom and Alex kicked the locked door open. The defendants shouted about the keys and Alex kicked Finn. Francis grabbed Finn's shirt and dragged him to the floor. They continued their demand for the keys , which Finn had thrown under the bed.

“Finn pushed Francis off him. Alex then started to throw objects at Finn. The first pool ball missed as did a fan, but the second pool ball hit him in the right side of his chest. Alex approached Finn again and tried to kick him. Finn grabbed Alex's foot and he fell over. As Alex tried to get back to his feet, Finn punched him.

“Francis approached Finn from behind and Finn then fell onto Alex, with Francis on his back. Alex bit Finn with extreme force underneath his left armpit. Francis forced three fingers into Finn's mouth and pulled it sideways in a hooking motion. Carlee pushed Francis and this gave Finn the chance to get to his feet. Finn said the car keys were on the floor. Luana went into the house and told Alex to go."

Wealthy son hired dad, 78, to 'sort out' lover who refused to have sex with himAlex Craig who was refused sex by lover Luana Dougherty recruited his father Francis, 78, to ''sort her out''

She added: “Outside the property, Alex started to kick Finn again multiple times. The defendants then both left in Francis Craig's car. As they left, Francis Craig made threats to kill Carlee.''

In mitigation Craig jnr's counsel Gareth Roberts said: ''He comes before the court properly embarrassed and ashamed by his involvement in this very unfortunate matter. He knows he acted in a way that was entirely improper. He wishes he could turn the clock back and act in a different way. He is ordinarily an extremely productive and usually a law-abiding man.

“The relationship with Luana Dougherty is now entirely over.''

For Craig snr, John Wyn Williams, said: “He had quite a difficult childhood where he was moved to North Wales as an evacuee and was abandoned by his mother. He has health problems and is not in the same financial position as his son - he has limited means.”

Sentencing the judge Mr Recorder Mark Ainsworth said: “Frankly, the events of that day, however you dress them up, are shameful. I find it remarkable that at no point during this incident, which lasted some time, neither of you stepped back to think ‘What on earth am I doing?’

“At various times objects were thrown including pool balls. I make it absolutely clear, had there been a conviction after trial you would have been looking at immediate imprisonment. While it is tempting to say that you must be going to prison, there's a realistic prospect of rehabilitation so I must step back and suspend the sentence.'

''It is quite rare to see father and son in the dock and it's a very upsetting thing to see too - especially in these circumstances.''

Kieran Isgin

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