Man of Indian descent acquitted of murdering father

Sydney, Aug 15 (IANS) An Australian court Thursday acquitted a 21-year-old man of Indian descent of murdering his father.

Judge Stephen Campbell of the New South Wales Supreme Court in Sydney ruled that he was "not satisfied beyond reasonable doubt" that Joshua Ravindran, a former medical student, had murdered his father.

"I'm not persuaded that the accused deliberately strangled his father... and, accordingly, I'm not satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that he murdered his father," the Sydney Morning Herald quoted Campbell as saying.

Joshua was accused of murdering his father Ravi Ravindran, 48, in their home in the town of Medlow Bath in New South Wales April 23, 2011, after an argument between them the previous day.

He had been been charged with murdering his father by strangling him and then beating him with a baseball bat.

However, the accused had told the court that he did not kill his father and that the latter had hanged himself to death.

Joshua's defence lawyer had submitted before the court that Ravi Ravindran's death completely changed his son's life and he did something completely out of character like beating the body with the bat.

Joshua had reportedly threatened to move out of the family home during the argument the day before the incident.

The accused had reportedly woken up the fateful day on 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 had heard that the relationship between the father and the son, whose much of the upbringing was sans his mother, was unusually close.

Joshua had also told the court that he found his father to be "controlling".

A family friend, Michael Franklin, told the court that his contact with the Ravindrans became less frequent at the end of 2005, after Ravi Ravindran shared his views on father-son relationships.

"The one thing that he did say that shocked me... we were talking about Hindu culture, and sons are all-important in their culture," Franklin was quoted as saying.

"(He said) that's why he spends so much time and does the best he can by Josh and if he ever lost Josh's respect, that life wouldn't be worth living."

Judge Campbell based his ruling Thursday on the father's ego.

"The deceased had based his whole life around his son," he said.

"The accused's decision was a direct attack upon his (Ravi Ravindran's) ego. Morbid jealousy is an aspect of the deceased's personality."

Hearing the verdict, Joshua smiled and hugged his lawyers.