A FAMILY has been left ‘disgusted’ with the criminal justice system after the man who stabbed their teenage son escaped a jail sentence.

Wayne Sangwell has hit out after Martin Element received just 100 hours of unpaid work in the community for stabbing Lee Sangwell, 17, in the right armpit, nearly severing a major artery.

Element, of Long Grove, Baughurst, appeared at Winchester Crown Court on December 14, and was sentenced for two offences - unlawful and maliciously wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and unlawfully and maliciously causing grievous bodily harm, following the stabbing on December 22, 2016, in Long Grove.

Element was sentenced to 100 hours unpaid work and given a one-year community order with 15 rehabilitation activity requirement days, after pleading guilty.

Mr Sangwell said he felt the sentence did not bring any justice for his son, and was not a good message for the courts to be sending out.

He said: “If someone is only going to get 100 hours unpaid work for stabbing someone it doesn’t set a precedent does it?

“Does that mean I can walk around Tadley with a kitchen knife and nothing is going to happen? It is disgusting.”

Mr Sangwell added his son had written an impact statement for the court, but it was never read out.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) took the decision to reduce the severity of the charge it pursued as it could not be certain Element was ‘not acting in self-defence’ which may have affect a jury’s decision, if the case went to trial.

A CPS spokeswoman said if the case had gone to trial there was a chance Element would have been acquitted of all charges. She said: “When carefully considering the plea offered we had to decide whether to proceed to trial and take the risk that Mr Element could be acquitted of either offence or to accept his plea.

“We took the decision to accept the plea offered, fully aware that the sentencing options available to the court would be reduced as a result. We would like to stress that we did not enter into an agreement with Mr Element to enter a particular plea in return for the prosecution agreeing to a particular sentence.”

Mr Sangwell said four months after the incident Lee didn’t go outside, couldn’t play football or darts and was on sleeping tablets to calm him down.

The father added: “The worst thing is Lee gets on the bus sometimes and has to see him because we live in quite a small community.

“I just don’t think my son has got the justice he deserves.”

The CPS spokeswoman added: “The sentence Mr Element received is a matter for the court.

“Prior to accepting this guilty plea we should have consulted with the victim but we failed to do so, either indirectly through the police officer in charge, or directly by speaking to the victim. We have subsequently written to the victim to apologise for this failure and to explain the basis of our decision.

“We fully understand that having failed to do so the victim and his family feel let down by us and we apologise again for our failure.”