A YOUNG man attacked his mother and stepfather on New Year’s Day – punching them repeatedly, pulling his mother’s hair, and pointing a knife in the direction of his stepfather.

Kyle Butler, 20, assaulted the couple after “taking umbrage” at a comment made by his mother, about the fact a friend of his was drunk, when she gave them a lift at 2am on January 1, following New Year’s Eve celebrations in the town centre.

Speaking about the attack, Butler’s mother told the police: “I thought we were going to die”.

Prosecuting, Mr David Reid said: “There was an argument about the drunken state of his friend. The defendant took umbrage.”

The former BCoT student had a confrontation with his stepfather about the row after returning home, and when his mother intervened, he “grabbed her hair and pulled it extremely hard.”

In the ensuing row in the kitchen, Butler “punched his stepfather many times in the face and on his head. She (his mother) was trying to pull him off. The defendant started punching her all over her body”.

Butler was pinned by his stepfather over the cooker and in the melée, the ignition was lit and his coat caught fire. After the fire was extinguished, Butler grabbed some knives.

Mr Reid said: “At this stage, Mrs Butler decided to call the police. The defendant was holding a knife towards his stepfather. Mrs Butler later said: ‘I thought we were both going to die’. She was terrified and thought the defendant was going to stab her husband.”

Despite initially making statements to the police, the court heard the couple later sought to retract them and have been “reluctant to assist” the prosecution. Butler, of Haydn Road, Brighton Hill, Basingstoke, is now living back at home.

The court heard he was handed a referral order in December 2010 after an incident in which he had an argument and later returned to their house with a knife, threatening to stab the occupants, before kicking the door and punching a man in the face. Butler, who works at The Harvester in Basingstoke, was given a “glowing reference” by his employer. This letter, along with one from his mother and stepfather, was handed to the judge.

Defending Butler, Karen Dempsey said Butler suffers from ADHD and added there is a family history of Asperger’s Syndrome and autism.

Judge James Watson said: “I have been swayed by the clear courage of your parents to help you despite an incident which could have broken your family.”

He sentenced Butler to six months in jail, suspended for 18 months. He was also given a supervision requirement with an alcohol intervention strategy, and he will have to attend education and training sessions.