UK: Son hits daddy to death during a game of slaps
London, Dec. 9, 2020 (AltAfrica)-Army veteran died after encouraging teen son to hit him during a ‘game of slaps’ that went tragically wrong, an inquest heard.
Army veteran Malcolm Callender, 48, fatally hit his head on the road during ‘horseplay’ with his 19-year-old son Ewan on April 12 last year.
The coroner was told that the ex-soldier, who worked and lived at public school Wellington College in Berkshire, had been drinking with his son at pubs before he started the game by slapping him.
He then stood with his hands behind his back and said to Ewan: ‘Right, you can have your free shot.’
Witnesses said Ewan was not keen on hitting his bigger-built father but wanted to ‘make him proud’.
He was seen clenching his fists outside the Matchbox nightclub in Reading before he delivered the slap which caused his father to reel backwards and hit his head on the road.
As his father lay on the ground, Ewan was heard screaming ‘wake up Dad! Dad I love you!’
The serving soldier was arrested at the scene, but the Crown Prosecution Service decided not to prosecute him for any offence.
CCTV played at the inquest showed Mr Callender senior raise his hand and strike his son, who went to retaliate but instead embraced his father.
Giving evidence at the inquest, Ewan said ‘there was nothing aggressive’ about the slap and that the pair were ‘messing around’. Kathryn Morrison,
Mr Callender’s wife and Ewan’s mother, said in a statement read in court that the slapping between the father and son was a common game they played.
She said: ‘As a family, we would always be messing about with each other and we would be giving each other quick little digs in the ribs which we called “fingers of steel”.