lifestyle

What would cause this to happen?

Editorial Note: The original post found at this URL was removed after information came to light that Luke Batty’s father had been facing homelessness and was battling mental illness at the time he is alleged to have killed his son. 

That information may change the way we think of the crime, but the sad truth is that it cannot change the fact that a little boy is no longer alive. Police officers investigating the murder have told Ms Batty that Greg’s fatal attack on their son was likely “a calculated act that would have occurred at some point”.

News related coverage of this original story follows below.

What would cause a father to stab his 11-year-old son to death during a local junior cricket training?

That’s the question police and community members in south eastern Victoria are asking today after that exact scenario played out at a regional sports oval at around 6:30pm yesterday.

The boy has now been identified as Luke Batty. Luke was reportedly in grade six at Flinders Christian College.

Luke’s mother Rosie has now spoken to the media. In doing so, she expressed her absolute disbelief at what had happened to her son. She said that Luke’s dad Greg suffered from mental health issues and that he had been homeless for a number of years.

Rosie, who was at the cricket practice, said she initially thought Luke had been injured accidentally.

“What triggered this was a case of his dad having mental health issues, he was in a homelessness situation for many years, his life was failing, everything was becoming worse in his life and Luke was the only bright light in his life,” she said.

“No one loved Luke more than Greg, his father. No one loved Luke more than me — we both loved him.”

“And what I want to share with you is, I’m the victim of family violence and if anything comes out of this, in want it to be a lesson to everybody.

“The only two people who love their son more than anyone, is their mother and father. And the very tragic thing about this is the father’s life was tragic and based on … challenges in his life that we couldn’t help him with and nor could anyone else.

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Rosie said it was just a normal cricket practice and that Luke had asked to stay for a while longer to spend time with his dad. She said she had no reason to be concerned and that the intervention order – that had been taken out against Greg – allowed him to be there.

“Police have suggested it was a calculated act that would have occurred at some point and i’m not to blame myself,” she told the media.

“It’s a tragic situation that no one could see was going to happen,” she said.

“I’m still dealing with disbelief.

“I want to tell everybody that family violence happens to everybody, no matter how nice your house is, how intelligent you are, it happens to anyone and everyone. This has been an 11-year battle.”

Mamamia previously reported:

Police and ambulance officers were called to the oval on Frankston-Flinders Road in Tyabb amid reports that a young boy had sustained head injuries and needed urgent help.

When they arrived they found a 54-year-old man holding a knife. After unsuccessful attempts to subdue the man with capsicum spray, police shot him once in the chest.

The 11-year-old boy was attended to by paramedics but died at the scene. The boy’s father was flown to Melbourne’s Alfred Hospital, but reportedly died at around 1:30am today.

Commander Doug Fryer told the media that the boy’s injuries were “brutal” and that his mother had been advised of the events. There have been some reports that the mother was at the oval when it happened but these remain unconfirmed.

“The mother has been advised, she was in the vicinity at the time but I can’t go into the details of what she saw,” Commander Doug Fryer said. “The death of a young child is always going to be horrific and I don’t know how the mother’s going to cope, she probably never will be able to.”

The homicide squad is now investigating.

Editor’s Note: The original post found at this URL was removed at 7.30pm 13/02/14. 

Police are urging anyone with information on the incident to contact Crime Stoppers.

If you think you may be experiencing depression or another mental health problem, please contact your general practitioner or in Australia, contact Lifeline 13 11 14 for support, beyondblue 1300 22 4636 or SANE Australia for information.

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