A man has been sentenced to life in prison for murdering his father at their home in Sherborne.
At a hearing at Winchester Crown Court on Friday 18 October 2019, Dominic William Robert Hodgson, aged 37, admitted the murder of his 72-year-old father Robert Hodgson. He was sentenced to life in prison, with a minimum term of 14 years.
At 5.11pm on Tuesday 21 May 2019 Dorset Police received a 999 call from Dominic Hodgson from his father’s address in Ridgeway, where he had also been living since March that year.
Hodgson asked for ambulance and police and then told the operator: “I’ve just killed my dad.”
He went on to state that he had hit Robert over the head with a dumbbell and said he needed to be arrested.
Officers attended the scene and found the door unlocked and Dominic sat on the floor by the stairs. He told them his dad was in the living room.
Robert was found on the sofa with significant head injuries. Officers provided first aid until the ambulance service arrived and Robert was flown by air ambulance to Southmead Hospital in Bristol. Very sadly, despite the best efforts of medical staff, he was pronounced dead at hospital at 11.38pm.
Dominic Hodgson was arrested at the scene and taken into custody. A blood-stained metal dumbbell was found on the floor in the living room and several butane gas canisters were discovered in the address.
A post-mortem examination found that Robert had died as the result of multiple blows from a blunt object to the left side of the head.
Medical evidence put before the court outlined Dominic Hodgson’s history of abuse of butane gas and his admission that he had been under the influence of the gas on the afternoon of Tuesday 21 May 2019 when he murdered his father.
Detective Inspector Simon Huxter, of Dorset Police’s Major Crime Investigation Team (MCIT), said: “This was a tragic set of circumstances, which will no doubt have caused significant pain and distress to the Hodgson family, undoubtedly exacerbated by the fact that Dominic was responsible for his father’s death.
“Dominic Hodgson’s guilty plea today does, in my view, demonstrate some remorse for his actions but ultimately this sad case demonstrates the dangers of self-intoxication. I have no doubt that Robert would still be alive today had it not been for Dominic’s abuse of butane gas on that fateful day.
“I would urge anyone who abuses butane gas to seek help via their GP or contact the Talk to Frank support service on 0300 1236600.
“I would also like to thank the community of Sherborne for the support shown to Dorset Police in the aftermath of Robert’s death and I pay tribute to the many colleagues from the Force and partner agencies that have supported this professional and meticulous investigation that has brought Dominic Hodgson to justice for his actions.
“I would particularly like to pay tribute to Detective Sergeant Dave Wise and Detective Constable Felicity Dalladay who led the investigation and Karen O’Donnell for the support she has given to Robert’s family throughout the investigation in her role as family liaison officer.
“My thoughts remain with the friends and family of Robert for their very sad loss.”