A foster son who was very much loved by the couple who took him in at 18 months stabbed his ‘dad’ multiple times with a broken glass and a knife after a row over his behaviour.

20-year-old Theo Lgalawuye of Millhouse Park, Torpoint, appeared at Truro Crown Court today for sentencing after pleading guilty to two counts of causing grievous bodily harm with intent and one count of assault by beating.

He was sentenced to four years in a young offenders institute on each count of GBH to run concurrently. The assault by beating was allowed to lie on file.

Falmouth Packet: Theo Lgalawuye stabbed his 'dad' multiple timesTheo Lgalawuye stabbed his 'dad' multiple times (Image: Devon and Cornwall Police)

The court heard that Lgalawuye had been diagnosed as being on the Autism Spectrum which meant that when he was told if he didn’t modify his behaviour he would have to leave the family home, he took it literally.

On September 10 last year, he snapped and smashed a glass and started to stab his dad Stephen Reeve multiple times with it. When his brother Mackenzie intervened he attacked him as well.

Ramsey Qauife prosecuting told the court that the attack happened after an argument in which Lgalawuye’s father Stephen Reeve told him he’d have to leave the family home if he didn’t change his behaviour towards him, his mother Julie and his brother.

“When he said that it changed everything,” said Mr Quaife. Lgalawuye broke a glass and used it in an horrific attack on his father stabbing him multiple times.

Lgalawuye then went into the kitchen and got a knife and started to stab his father again who by this time had tried to flee to the dining room. However he was unable to close the door because of the amount of blood he had lost.

Lgalawuye then went round to the patio doors and tried to get in through there and when Mr Reeve tried to stop him he stabbed him again.

Mr Reeve managed to run to the bedroom but again was stabbed by Lgalawuye before he managed to barricade himself in.


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The police were called and arrested Lgalawuye. Mr Reeve was taken to hospital for treatment for multiple stab wounds.

In a victim impact statement Mr Reeve said he felt no hatred towards his son just sadness about what had happened. He said his son was usually a gentle giant and he didn’t want him to be given a long prison sentence.

Herc Ashworth, defending said Lgalawuie was “deeply sorry and devastated” for what he did.

“He is grateful for the compassion shown by his family,” he said. “His mental disorder underpins everything that happened that day."

Judge Simon Carr commended Lgalawuye’s foster parents for the compassion they had shown him.

“As far as the parents are concerned they have loved him since he was 18 months old,” said Mr Carr. “I am grateful for the compassion shown by his family and I am relieved there has been at least a physical recovery by Mr Reeve.”

He said Lgalawuye’s diagnosis coloured everything, and he saw things “very much in black and white" and took the statement literally.

However he said this meant he was a “significant risk” to people.

Speaking after the sentencing, investigating officer, DC Isla Ferguson said: “The events that unfolded on Sunday 10th September 2023 will no doubt have a lasting effect on everyone involved in this incident.

“I’d like to thank the victims for their support with what has been a comprehensive investigation. In listening to accounts of the victims we have been able to present a case that has resulted in a guilty plea and the sentence today.

“This sentence is the first step in offering the victims some closure on this matter, the sentence reflects the awful incident that took place. I hope the result goes some way in helping them to move forward, whilst everyone concerned can access the help they may need.”