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Man jailed for bid to kill council staff

AAP logoAAP 23/10/2016 Julian Drape

A Victorian council surveyor who risked being bludgeoned to death and buried in a shallow grave simply for doing his job says he's relieved his attacker has been jailed for at least seven and a half years.

Bricklayer Jonas Black tried to murder building surveyor Matthew Patterson and enforcement officer Justin Eades in May 2015 when the Gippsland Shire Council officers visited his remote bush block at Turtons Creek.

The council had ordered a number of Black's sheds - known collectively as "Jonastown" - be demolished because they'd been built without permits.

Outside the Supreme Court of Victoria on Monday, Mr Patterson said he was relieved the ordeal was over.

He said in 95 per cent of cases, people could keep illegally built structures if they applied retrospectively for permits, but Black had refused to do so.

"To think someone has planned an event like this ... now it is in the back of my mind when I'm out doing an inspection in a secluded part of the shire," Mr Patterson said in Melbourne.

"(But) I'm very relieved by the sentence - it's about what we were expecting."

Black dug a body-sized hole near a campsite about four kilometres from his property before Mr Patterson and Mr Eades inspected Jonastown in May 2015.

The hole was intended to be Mr Patterson's grave, Justice Jane Dixon said on Monday when sentencing Black, 46, to a maximum 11 and a half years behind bars.

When the council workers entered one of his sheds, Black picked up a piece of scaffolding pipe and hit Mr Eades on the back of the head.

He subsequently struck Mr Patterson who grabbed a shovel and fought back, with both men managing to escape.

Mr Eades was airlifted to hospital with bruising and clots on the brain.

He's not returned to work and suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and a loss of smell and taste.

Justice Dixon said Black's attack on Mr Patterson was the result of "homicidal thoughts and pre-planning".

He had "brooded over the matter (of the demolitions) to an irrational extent" and feared becoming bankrupt, she said.

Before being sentenced, Black, a father of one, told the judge he was worried about being jailed alongside "drug-affected inmates and sexual predators".

He's already spent 518 days in jail and was attacked in February by a fellow inmate after falsely being accused of being an undercover cop.

A jury in June found Black guilty of two counts of attempted murder and one count of attempting to pervert the course of justice.

The latter charge was laid because he'd asked his fiancee to retrieve his boots after he was arrested, fearing they'd be linked to the site where he'd dug the shallow grave.

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