Television remote controls are a common device in most modern homes. In the right hands, they are a tool for relaxation and family harmony, allowing users to easily control their entertainment systems to ensure that everyone is satisfied with the level of noise and more. However, in a startling trend, it appears that this device can also be a tool of injury and abuse when placed in the wrong hands. For example, a man in Northampton, England was recently sentenced to community service after attacking his mother with one of their TV remote controls.
According to the local media, Marcin Slonina moved into his mother’s house in Northampton last year after the demise of a long-term relationship. He lived in the home for four months, reportedly growing angry and aggressive as time passed. Finally, on December 23, the 29-year-old violently pulled his mother off of a kitchen chair and began beating her with one of their television remote controls in an unprovoked attack. The abuse later continued in her bedroom, after Slonina’s mother attempted to pack her bags and leave the residence; her son reportedly entered the room with a knife and pushed her onto the bed. After some time, the woman was able to escape and call a friend, who contacted local emergency services. Slonina was immediately taken to the local prison, where he remained until his trial. His mother escaped with heavy bruising.
In court on Tuesday, April 7, Slonina was charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm. He was sentenced to a 15 month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and a two year supervision order. During this time, he will be required to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work and attend an offender behavior program. However, his mother requested that he not be given a restraining order. His lawyer also stated that his client was coming to terms with what he had done, and that the incident was largely a “suicidal gesture.”
Slonina’s case is just the latest in a string of domestic violence incidents in which attackers have used television remote controls. Fortunately, it seems that Slonina is willing to commit to his recovery, and his mother is willing to forgive him, although she might keep him away from their original remote controls. In light of this trend, it is important to note that a number of common household items, including all remotes, can be used for malicious or harmful purposes. However, it should be remembered that in most cases, programmable remote controls are a device that promotes harmony rather than strife. As this trend continues, make sure you are using your device as intended.