Father of boxer, 21, who beat his mother to death while high on ketamine says he is 'not a bad lad' but had become a 'weekend warrior' after long weeks at work – as he urges judge for leniency

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Finn Henry’s father insisted his son was ‘not a bad lad’ but had become a ‘weekend warrior’ – taking drugs after finishing work for the week.

In a moving victim impact statement read to the court, Charles Henry, 57, a company director, called for the judge to show his son leniency.

He said Finn’s mental health declined and drugs became ‘more prevalent’ following a ‘toxic relationship’.

He told how Ketamine use was rife in the Staffordshire village where they lived but his son now wanted to warn of the dangers.

‘Finn will have to live with the consequences of what he has done for the rest of his life and I know first hand how hard he has found it to deal with this,’ he said.

Finn Henry's father insisted his son was 'not a bad lad' but had become a 'weekend warrior' - taking drugs after finishing work for the week. In a moving victim impact statement read to the court, Charles Henry, 57, a company director, called for the judge to show his son leniency

Finn Henry’s father insisted his son was ‘not a bad lad’ but had become a ‘weekend warrior’ – taking drugs after finishing work for the week. In a moving victim impact statement read to the court, Charles Henry, 57, a company director, called for the judge to show his son leniency

‘Finn has a very strong work ethic and is good with money. Finn was up every day at 6am for work and went to the gym after work. His failing was a long weekend where he became a weekend warrior.

‘Finn has suggested after long conversations that we work together to inform of the horrors and the effects of the drug Ketamine in the hope of stopping other young people from using it.

‘It would be easier to pick you out the young people in the village who are not using it rather than the other way round.’

Mr Henry, a former prison officer, pleaded with the court not to send his son to prison saying it could not cater for his son’s needs.

‘The prison system is beyond broken. It is a disgrace,’ he said.

‘Finn is not a violent character. He is not a bad lad. We as a family would pool all our time and resources to assist this which I am in a lucky position which I am able to do.’

He said Finn ‘never raised his voice in anger once’ to his mother and ‘showed her nothing but respect until this dreadful event’.

‘I believe Finn can do his mother’s memory proud and become the human being his mother would want.

‘I fully appreciate justice has to be done but right from the beginning the police said the court would consider the family’s wishes.

Finn Henry, 21, has been jailed today unlawful  manslaughter. Mr Henry, a former prison officer, pleaded with the court not to send his son to prison saying it could not cater for his son's needs

Finn Henry, 21, has been jailed today unlawful  manslaughter. Mr Henry, a former prison officer, pleaded with the court not to send his son to prison saying it could not cater for his son’s needs 

‘As a prison officer I have witnessed too many young men with no previous criminal past being inducted into the criminal world via longer prison sentences.

‘I do not want to play down the awful tragic events … Finn already has a life sentence and will effect his life in every direction.

Mr Henry also addressed his late wife directly saying: ‘Suzanne I love you more than words can express. I miss you hour to hour, thank you for the wonderful memories.’

Describing how her death had taken his toll he told the court: ‘The impact …is almost impossible to put into words. I was self employed for most of this time so spent most of our time working as well as living together – we were a great team. Our hearts are completely shattered and I am struggling to find a way forward.’

He said ‘very rarely did we go out without both men and women commenting on her beauty as she was the most attractive lady I ever met and you could say I was punching but she was very modest.

‘I will the miss the many holidays we had in the sun but most of all Suzanne just loved being a mother and wife and was amazing at both. She was very traditional and happy in our new home with the family.’

He told how his daughter Niamh had graduated with university with a First Class Honor’s degree describing it as an ‘amazing accomplishment’ while ‘dealing with all of this’.

‘I credit Suzanne with most of this as she encouraged Niamh all the way,’ he said.

‘I am proud beyond words.’

Speaking about his son Finn, he said he enjoyed an ‘amazing close relationship with his mother and was very protective of Suzanne’.

The victim Susanna Henry (pictured). Describing how her death had taken his toll he told the court: 'The impact ...is almost impossible to put into words. I was self employed for most of this time so spent most of our time working as well as living together - we were a great team'

The victim Susanna Henry (pictured). Describing how her death had taken his toll he told the court: ‘The impact …is almost impossible to put into words. I was self employed for most of this time so spent most of our time working as well as living together – we were a great team’

‘It was extremely hard when you have lost your wife and to find a member of your own family is responsible but as Finn’s father I am probably the only person to know the history of the relationship between mother and son,’ Mr Henry said.

Finn was jailed for seven years today he attacked and killed his mother at their family home while high on Ketamine. 

The moments before and after were caught on video, filmed by his mother on her mobile phone, who wanted to show her drug addicted son how he acted while high.

She was left ‘unrecognisable’ following the ‘sustained and lengthy assault’ by the experienced boxer and died two days later in hospital having suffered severe traumatic brain injury.

Henry was initially charged with murder, which he denied, before later pleading guilty to unlawful act manslaughter through intoxication of drugs.

Northampton Crown Court heard prosecutors had taken the unusual step of accepting the lesser plea after doctors concluded he was suffering from ‘delirium and psychotic symptoms’ brought about by the use of ketamine, cannabis and other drugs and did not intend to kill his mother but believed he was attacking the devil or a demon.

The court was told he had suffered an ‘adverse reaction’ and was acting ‘irrationally’ as a result of ‘confusion and excitement’ brought about by his use of drugs.

The court heard Henry had used cannabis from the age of 15 before becoming addicted to ketamine aged 19, using 10 grams over a weekend. His family and friends had begged him to stop, with his mother threatening to cut ties with him if he continued to use and sell drugs.

But prosecutor Maria Karaiskos said he was ‘strongly attracted to the positive effects, as though he had a lot of energy and felt he could do anything’. She said he acknowledged he would ‘become wound up more easily’ and his drug use had led to him losing his job after he attacked a co worker but he did not stop and had used drugs throughout the day he killed his mother.

Northampton Crown Court where Henry was sentenced to seven years in jail for unlawful manslaughter

Northampton Crown Court where Henry was sentenced to seven years in jail for unlawful manslaughter 

Two hours before the attack, on May 1 last year, he was seen snorting white powder while driving his car to Tesco – most likely to be ketamine or MDMA and had also smoked cannabis, she said.

Friends told how he had been acting strangely and had spoken about the Matrix and apocalypse and that he was ‘dancing with devil’ and needed to ‘disappear’ before he did something he regretted. He later said he was going home to sleep it off.

At home his mother started filming him ‘most likely to show it to him when he sobered up’, Miss Karaiskos said. He was ‘excitable and loud’ and was jumping around and swearing and shouting out his own name before he ‘throws two punches towards the camera and the phone falls down’.

‘Six minutes later the phone captures his face and he is covered in blood,’ the prosecutor said.

Neighbours reported hearing a woman screaming with one saying it was so loud he could hear it even while wearing his headphones.

Henry then ran off and ended up naked in a nearby children’s home. He was arrested after neighbours reported seeing him act strangely in the street and answered no comment. He later asked a nurse who examined him if he could have her phone number adding it was ‘worth a try’.

Jailing him for seven years with an extended four-year licence Judge Rupert Mayo said it was rare for a plea of unlawful act manslaughter to be accepted but he was ‘happy to accept that conclusion’ following the doctors’ reports.

‘So I do sentence you on the basis that you were unlikely to form an intent to kill … because of the adverse effects of the drugs that you had taken. That does not mean you are excused from what you did… you took her life.’

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Killer son, 21, who beat his ‘beloved’ mother, 54, to death while high on ketamine at the family home after telling friends he was ‘dancing with the devil’ is jailed for seven years

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He said his family had begged him not to desist but he chose to continue.

The judge told him he posed a ‘significant risk’ of committing further offences if he started taking drugs again.

‘Because of the history of your use of ketamine and the steps others took to persuade you not to buy drugs… I am sure you failed to address the issues of addiction and the gross over ingestion of drugs which you knew this drug in particular caused you to lose control and caused you to act violently and significantly out of character. You knew all of that,’ he told Henry.

The judge said it was a ‘sustained and multifocal attack’.

‘You are an experience boxer, you squared up and it was a lengthy assault in which she, I hate to say this, would have suffered considerably.’.

The judge said there was a risk of relapse the consequences of which will be ‘unpredictable and potentially life threatening’

He went on: ‘At present the risk in my judgement is extremely high and it is impossible to predict when that risk will diminish. You will need to engage in extensive psychological work and I am not satisfied that such work will be completed within the seven years and four months custodial term I therefore pass an extended sentence…’

He will serve up to two thirds in custody before he is eligible for release.

Ahmed Hossain KC, in mitigation, said Henry ‘lives with the horror of what he did every day’ and was ‘clearly highly remorseful and extremely distressed by what he has done’.

He said he ‘comes from a good, decent, caring, loving, supportive family and he is very fortunate that support remains’.

Mr Hossain told the court: ‘This case is the clearest demonstration of the the impact of the repeated consumption of illegal drugs can have in an immature and developing brain’ adding that the the age of full maturity in the brain of a young man was 25 years.