Sarah Payne's father jailed for glassing brother

Michael Payne
Image caption Michael Payne pleaded guilty to unlawful wounding at an earlier court hearing

The father of murdered schoolgirl Sarah Payne has been jailed for 16 months after admitting attacking his brother.

Michael Payne, 43, struck his brother Stephen with a glass after they had both drunk a large amount of alcohol.

Payne developed a drink problem after the murder of his eight-year-old daughter by Roy Whiting 11 years ago, Maidstone Crown Court heard.

The attack happened after the brothers consumed about three litres of cider and a bottle of vodka each.

The court heard the attack happened at Payne's brother's home on 24 August.

Judge Jeremy Carey said he had the "deepest sympathy" for the loss of his daughter but the offence warranted a jail sentence.

Payne, of Brishing Lane, Maidstone, who has previous convictions for common assault and criminal damage, will serve eight months behind bars and the remainder on licence.

Defence counsel Oliver Saxby urged the judge not to follow a "formulaic exercise" when deciding sentencing because of Payne's "exceptional" background.

Bereavement counselling

"The assorted aftermath had a life-changing effect on him and his then wife and his family," he said.

"It's desperately sad. He never sought nor was offered assistance with bereavement counselling."

He added that Payne split from his wife Sara in 2003 and began drinking but was aiming to make a recovery from his addiction.

Stephen Payne suffered injuries to his the back of his head, arm and hand but they were not life-threatening.

He fled from his home to a nearby property where an ambulance was called.

Mr Saxby said Stephen Payne had offered a retraction statement, which the judge described as a "merciful" act.

Sarah was murdered by convicted sex offender Roy Whiting in West Sussex in 2000. The family was living in Surrey at the time.

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites