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'Vengeance' triggers deadly Vic attack

AAP logoAAP 23/09/2016 Genevieve Gannon

A psychotic man who bashed a father of seven to death with a baseball bat thought he was avenging his own father who had perished in the Black Saturday bushfires, a court has heard.

Glen Sullivan, 41, was attacked by Traralgon man James William Gibson, 20, in the home of a friend in April 2015.

Mr Sullivan had his back to Gibson when the younger man struck him, saying, "You killed my dad", according to witness Adam Charleston.

Gibson's father had died on February 7, 2009, while evacuating his parents' home during the bushfires, defence barrister John Kelly told the Victorian Supreme Court on Friday.

Before the attack, Gibson, a long-term drug user, had taken ice.

He believed a large dose of methamphetamine had been forcibly injected into him before the deadly assault, but Crown prosecutor Campbell Thomson said that was a fantasy.

Gibson has been diagnosed with schizophrenia but there is a dispute as to whether his psychosis on the night of the killing was caused by drugs or his mental illness.

After inflicting the blows, at least one of which was delivered while Mr Sullivan lay on the floor, Gibson had fled the home in the Victorian town of Tyers.

Mr Sullivan was rushed to hospital having sustained trauma doctors described to his family as "the worst brain injury you can have without dying", the court heard.

In a statement read to the court, Brett Sullivan described how a week later he had to tell his brother's son the doctors wouldn't be able to save his father.

"He just thought his dad was so strong and would pull through," Mr Sullivan said.

"His youngest son, who's four, was there colouring in the waiting room."

Mr Kelly said Gibson had turned to drug use to cope with the loss of his father.

"He used to think about how painful his father's death would have been," Mr Kelly said.

"He had become adrift."

Justice Michael Croucher said ice was a scourge on society.

Gibson will be sentenced on October 20.

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