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

Vic man denies digging shallow grave

AAP logoAAP 12/08/2016 By Jacqueline Le

A Victorian man found guilty of trying to murder two council inspectors who visited his property still disputes evidence he dug a shallow grave.

Jonas Black, 46, accepts a jury found him guilty of the attempted murder of Gippsland Shire Council inspectors Matthew Patterson and Justin Eades but contests key evidence, his lawyer says.

"He still maintains that he did not dig the hole," defence barrister Sarah Leighfield told the Victorian Supreme Court on Friday.

Mr Eades and Mr Patterson were attacked on Black's Turtons Creek property on May 25, 2015.

Black had a serious grudge against Mr Patterson and felt persecuted by the building surveyor and the council over sheds on his property.

Black and the council had been locked in a heated dispute about the sheds since 2013, with the matter resulting in a court-ordered demolition order.

At trial, prosecutors said Black had dug a shallow grave and bought bags of lime before his appointment with Mr Patterson.

Black's defence said their client did not dig the hole, that was about two metres long and half-a-metre deep, found by police.

But the jury accepted the evidence and found Black guilty in June of two counts of attempted murder.

"Whilst that (hole) is still denied, there is certainly an element of regret for the injuries caused and the suffering of the two men," Ms Leighfield said on Friday.

The jury also found Black guilty of attempting to pervert the course of justice for asking his girlfriend to get rid of potential evidence.

Prosecutor Campbell Thompson said the inspectors were attacked for doing their jobs.

"Public servants going about their job are entitled to do what they do without being threatened with violence or harmed by actual violence," he said.

Mr Eades had recently moved into the role of building and planning enforcement officer when he accompanied Mr Patterson to Black's property for an inspection that day.

He had never met Black, or had any dealings with him, before Black hit him in the back of the head with a pipe, fracturing his skull.

"A planning officer does not expect to go to work one day and get hit with an iron bar," said Justice Jane Dixon.

Mr Eades, 33, can no longer work, has lost his sense of taste, and will likely never regain all of his nerve functions.

Black will be sentenced at a later date.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon