Koonawarra man jailed for attacking wheelchair-bound mum, sister

She was subject to a brutal bashing at the hands of her son that has left her experiencing panic attacks and feeling suicidal, but an Illawarra mother has told a court she still loves her boy and misses him dearly.

Linda Sykes and her daughter Jodie were violently attacked by their son and brother Aaron Sykes inside Mrs Sykes’ Koonawarra home on the evening of October 27 last year after he took offence to a post on Facebook.

Wollongong Local Court heard Aaron Sykes repeatedly punched his wheelchair-bound mother in the head before threatening her with a meat clever.

He then turned on his sister, repeatedly stunning her with a taser-like device as she tried to come to the aid of her mother.

Police say at one stage Jodie screamed in pain and begged her brother to stop as he repeatedly used the device to send a current through her leg. 

Sykes was charged with assault, intimidation and weapons offences to which he pleaded guilty.

Reading out her victim impact statement in court on Friday, Mrs Sykes said she had been left shattered by the ordeal.

“Since this happened I have had major panic attacks when I’m alone, plus when I’m in public,” she said.

“I’m worried that someone will hurt me.”

She told the court she’d lost friends and family because of what had happened, and had become suicidal.

“I don’t know how to go on in my life as I see no future as my family is what I live for,” she said.

“The one sad thing is I never got to say goodbye to my son and his family as I know I will never see them again….I still love him.”

Jodie Sykes also spoke of her estrangement from family.

“I feel alone and isolated because of the loss of connection to siblings, nieces, nephews and ultimately the family we once had,” she said.

“To this day I still have trouble understanding why this happened.”

The content of the Facebook post that allegedly sparked the violent encounter was not revealed in court.

Magistrate Mark Douglass sentenced Sykes to a minimum of seven months behind bars, labeling him a “man on a mission” that night.

“Not only was it a low act it’s very, very serious,” he said of Sykes’ attack on his disabled mother.

“She was a vulnerable person, less physically capable than her attacker.”

With time served, Sykes will be released to parole in February.

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