Indian origin man's murder trial: Court reserves verdict

Sydney, Aug 8 (IANS) A court in Australia has reserved its verdict till Aug 15 in the case of a man of Indian descent accused of murdering his father.

Stephen Russell, the defence barrister for 21-year-old Joshua Ravindran, submitted before the New South Wales Supreme Court Thursday that his client cannot be guilty of murder and that his "good character supports that proposition".

Ravindran is accused of murdering his father Ravi Ravindran, 49, in their home in the town of Medlow Bath in the Australian state of New South Wales April 23, 2011, after an argument between the two the previous day.

Ravindran has been charged with murdering his father by strangling him and then beating the victim's body with a baseball bat.

However, the accused has said that he did not kill his father and that the latter had hanged himself to death, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

Defence barrister Russell submitted before the court that Ravi Ravindran's death completely changed Joshua Ravindran's life and he did something completely out of character like beating the body with the bat.

"In this case it's quite clear that what the accused did was something of an aberration, something that was out of character, because all the evidence points to him not having any aggressive tendencies," Russell was quoted as saying.

"I say that that somewhat explains this rather unusual behaviour. This critical point in time, when he realised his father was dead, his whole character changed because of this factor."

According to the report, Joshua had woken up the fateful day by hearing a "bang" and then found his father's lifeless body.

He then hit the body with the bat.

Paramedics had found the body with a white rope tied around the neck and injuries on the face.

The court heard that the relationship between the father and the son, whose much of the upbringing was sans his mother, was unusually close.

Hence the argument between the two the day before the incident had left the accused disturbed.

"No Indian boy would dare to speak to his father like this. You've completely lost respect for me and this family," Ravi Ravindran reportedly told his son during the course of the argument.

The accused told the court that he found his father to be "controlling".

He had earlier told the court that his father had called him ungrateful and that he was "just like your mother... you're being stupid and immature".

In his closing address Thursday in the judge-only trial, defence counsel Russell described the case as a "tragedy".

"This really is a tragedy in the true sense of the word where the characters... their shortcomings have led to their demise," he said.

"The shortcomings were brought about by an unusual relationship between the father and son."

Judge Stephen Campbell has reserved his decision till Aug 15.