A killer who sparked a nationwide manhunt after stabbing his brother to death with a Samurai sword and attempting to slay friend has been found not guilty.
A killer who sparked a nationwide manhunt after stabbing his brother to death with a Samurai sword and attempting to slay friend has been found not guilty.

Man who killed brother with Samurai sword found not guilty

A killer who sparked a nationwide manhunt after stabbing his brother to death with a Samurai sword and attempting to slay his long-term friend had been suffering from an undiagnosed, untreated mental illness for more than five years before the violent killing.

Jonathan Dick, 41, was on Thursday found not guilty by reason of mental impairment to the murder of his younger brother David in 2017 and attempted murder and stalking of long-term friend David Cammarata between 2018 and 2019.

Dick became one of the country's most wanted fugitives after the violent attack on his younger brother with a Samurai sword as he stepped out of a lift at a Doncaster shopping centre shortly after 6am on February 3 2017.

Dick stabbed David, 36, at least 20 times in the neck and head with a different knife as his sibling lay on the ground fighting for his life. The frenzied attack, which lasted 66 seconds, only stopped after David stopped moving, the court heard.

 

Fugitive Jonathan Dick was arrested in a parking garage Melbourne’s CBD. Picture: 7News.
Fugitive Jonathan Dick was arrested in a parking garage Melbourne’s CBD. Picture: 7News.

Unchallenged evidence from two forensic psychiatrists confirmed Dick was at the time experiencing "bizarre, grandiose, self referential and persecutory delusions".

Supreme Court Justice Lex Lasry said the evidence indicated he had developed paranoid schizophrenia in 2011 which remained untreated until his arrest for his brother's death in 2019.

Following the fatal attack on his brother, Dick disappeared before turning up at Mr Cammarata's home in August the following year armed with a pick hammer.

Dick, who had been the best-man at Mr Cammarata's wedding, yelled "you had this coming" during the 2018 attack, the court heard.

David Cammarata was attacked with a hammer outside his home by Mr Dick in 2018.
David Cammarata was attacked with a hammer outside his home by Mr Dick in 2018.

A split second "flinch" by Mr Cammarata caused the hammer to miss his skull, striking the base of his head instead and allowing him to wrestle the weapon out of Dick's grip.

Dick again fled, but continued to surveil Mr Cammarata, including during his morning routine of parking at a city carpark and walking the short distance to his office.

It was here, almost a year to the day later, Mr Cammarata and a work colleague spotted Dick loitering in the carpark on the morning of August 18 and confronted him.

Dick was arrested a short time later with police finding a bucket with a hammer, knife and pair of gloves on him.

In a special hearing before Justice Lasry this week, the court heard family and former friends had serious concerns about his mental health from 2011 and reported his paranoid behaviour and disturbing thoughts - including that he would like to kill his brother - to a Goulburn Valley hospital on at least three occasions.

Forensic psychiatrist, Dr Rajan Darjee, gave evidence Dick had been suffering severe delusions about "wailing banshees and angels", aliens and 9/11 and believed it was his destiny to kill his brother and Mr Cammarata.

"He thought he was predestined to kill his brother and thought if he didn't … some harm, perhaps death, would come to him and other people," Dr Darjee said.

Dick's mental impairment defence was not opposed by either party.

Justice Lasry ruled Dick did not know what he was doing was wrong when he killed his brother and attacked Mr Cammarata.

Dick will remain under court ordered supervision in a secure mental health facility until a later date.

*For 24-hour domestic violence support call the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or MensLine on 1800 600 636. 

genevieve.alison@news.com.au

Originally published as Jonathan Dick found not guilty of brother's murder

Jonathan Dick was on the run for more than two years.
Jonathan Dick was on the run for more than two years.

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