A MAN who murdered three people in Wedderburn told police “I’m not sorry for what I’ve done, they didn’t give me any choice” on the night of the attack, a court has heard.
Ian Francis Jamieson, 65, appeared at a pre-sentencing hearing at the Supreme Court in Bendigo on Thursday, after pleading guilty to the murders of Greg Holmes, 48, Mary Lockhart, 74, and Peter Lockhart, 78.
The court planned to sentence Jamieson on Friday, but he has been given an extra week to find new lawyers after sacking his former legal representatives on Monday.
He will re-appear in the Supreme Court on April 29.
An emotional hearing on Thursday was the first time the court heard specific details of the three murders, committed at rural properties south of Wedderburn on October 22, 2014.
A ‘cordial’ neighbourly relationship deteriorates
The court heard Jamieson initially had a “cordial” relationship with Peter and Mary Lockhart after they moved across the road from him in 2006.
Jamieson allowed Mr Lockhart to graze sheep on his property, while the Lockharts helped to rebuild his house after it was destroyed by fire in 2009. Mr Lockhart helped lay the foundations.
But animosity started to grow between the pair over the use of a dirt road adjoining Jamieson’s property.
As drought conditions worsened, Mr Lockhart started to use the track more often to gain access to a dam with his water truck.
Prosecutor Andrew Tinney said Jamieson “felt aggrieved” by Mr Lockhart, who he thought was “taunting” him when he would drive past the property in his tractor.
Jamieson believed the tractor was causing dust to “pollute” his water.
The relationship between the men further deteriorated when Mr Lockhart’s stepson Greg Holmes moved into the house next door in March 2014, on the other side of the dirt track.
Mr Holmes, a veteran of the Iraq War and East Timor conflict, had moved opposite his mother to help address his post-traumatic stress disorder.
Use of the track increased further, adding to Jamieson’s anger.
October 22, 2014
The day of the murders was like any other. Jamieson had taken his wife to Bendigo Health for treatment, arriving back home at 2.30pm.
CCTV on Jamieson’s property showed Mr Lockhart drive along the track in his tractor. Jamieson came out of the house, then went back inside. No dust was seen to drift anywhere.
Between 7.30pm and 7.50pm, both Mr Holmes and Mr Lockhart had telephone conversations with loved ones. There was no mention of anything untoward.
At 7.55pm, Jamieson placed a knife in a scabbard and climbed over the wire fence to Mr Holmes’ house, and a confrontation took place. Mr Holmes phoned 000, telling police Jamieson was “annoying the hell out of me”.
Police said to “keep calm until we get there.”
Some time soon after the call, Jamieson attacked Mr Holmes with the knife.
Police were unsure of the exact circumstances, but Jamieson stabbed Mr Holmes 25 times, including wounds to the head, chest cavity and liver.
Two campers nearby heard Mr Holmes cry for help four times, becoming fainter and fainter. They could not find anything at the scene, and contacted police.
Police arrived at the property soon after but there was no sign of Mr Holmes. A number of gun shots rang out while police were speaking with the campers.
They called Mr Holmes’ mobile phone and heard it ringing near the dirt track, where they discovered his body.
Jamieson later told police he believed Mr Holmes was “buggered” and he wanted to “sort this out for good”.
He returned home and armed himself with a 20 gauge and 12 gauge shotgun, crossing the road to the Lockhart house.
Jamieson shot Mr Lockhart four times on a stone path at the rear of their property. The first two shots were from the 20 gauge. and the second from the 12 gauge.
Mary Lockhart ran to the door and Jamieson shot her three times.
She was found on the floor of the meal area of the house, next to the back door.
A ballistics expert found Jamieson would have needed to reload the weapons multiple times.
Jamieson returned home where his wife noticed him covered in blood. He took off his blood-stained boots, put his blood-stained clothes in a basket and put away the knife and the guns.
He told his wife he had “shot them”.
‘I’m not sorry’, Jamieson tells police
Jamieson rang 000 at 8.48pm and told the operator he had “just killed three people”.
“A bloke up the back and two across the road. They took me on, I shot them with a gun, alright?” he told the operator.
“Just send the cops around here, alright? I should be put in jail.”
Jamieson continued to repeatedly tell officers about being “pushed” by his neighbours. He said police would be able to find the bodies easily, and to come arrest him when they were ready.
He then called two friends to confess to the murders.
Police arrested Jamieson at 11.45pm. When he was asked if his neighbours could still be alive, police say he scoffed and said “them? No, no”.
He underwent a number of interviews with police at the scene, repeatedly blaming the family for the murders.
The use of an unregistered tractor was also raised several times with police, while Jamieson also said Mr Holmes had pointed a gun at him on one occasion. The matter was reported to police.
Jamieson told police once he killed Mr Holmes he had “no choice” but to kill the Lockharts.
“I thought ‘bugger it, I’m gone’, I might as well go and clean the other ones up and that’s what I did,” he said of the murders of Peter and Mary Lockhart.
While he was being driven to the Bendigo Police Station, Jamieson told officers:
“I tell you right here and now and you can record the lot of it: I’m not sorry for what I done, really.”