You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

'Ringmaster' of Vic grandpa death in court

AAP logoAAP 10/08/2016 By Caitlin Guilfoyle

The "ringmaster" of a fatal robbery in Victoria where an elderly cannabis grower was tied up, bashed and left to die says drug abuse warped his judgment.

Garren John Philp enlisted two associates to go with him to Raymond Parker's home last year, saying it would be good to "give him a bit of a shake, rattle and roll" as they set off to steal cash and drugs from the 75-year-old grandfather.

Mr Parker was discovered dead six days after the invasion at his Bayles home in January 2015.

Philp, 46, and his co-offenders, Daniel Thomas O'Donnell and Dean John Brooks, have all pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

Senior crown prosecutor Peter Rose, QC, on Wednesday labelled Philp the "ringmaster" of the bungled robbery.

Mr Parker was a long-time cannabis grower and had been selling bags of cannabis worth thousands to Philp fortnightly before his death.

Philp had helped the older man with his cannabis crop and believed there was $250,000 hidden somewhere on his property.

"And he was hell-bent on finding it," Mr Rose told Philp's plea hearing in the Victorian Supreme Court.

In the early hours of January 7 last year, Philp drove the others to Mr Parker's home after he and Brooks smoked ice together.

Mr Parker was attacked in the master bedroom after yelling out, "Who's that in my house?"

O'Donnell later told authorities he saw Brooks tie a cord around Mr Parker's neck while yelling at him and demanding money.

The men left without any cash.

Philp's barrister, Tom Danos, said Philp's judgment was "clouded and warped" at the time, because he had been abusing cannabis and ice for months.

Philp did not physically assault Mr Parker, but also did not intervene when O'Donnell said he should stop Brooks' attack.

"He says it was the worst mistake he ever made in his life," Mr Danos said.

Electrician Philp's ex-partner, Wendy Adhofer, said he was a loving, hardworking father.

O'Donnell, 50, has been jailed for three-and-a-half years, with a minimum of two.

Brooks, 24, and Philp will be sentenced next week.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon