UK & World News

  • 13 February 2014, 16:43

Father Batters Son To Death With Cricket Bat

An 11-year-old boy has been killed by his father in front of other children and their parents at the end of a cricket training session.

Luke Batty died at the scene in Melbourne, Australia, despite paramedics attempting to treat him for head injuries caused by a cricket bat.

His 54-year-old father was shot by police officers and later died in hospital.

The boy's mother, Rosie Batty, who is originally from England, is believed to have been at the cricket ground, in the suburb of Tyabb, at the time.

She has spoken of her grief at Luke's death, adding that both she and the boy's father loved him very much.

"What triggered this was a case of his dad having mental health issues," Ms Batty told Channel Nine.

"He was in a homelessness situation for many years, his life was failing, everything was becoming worse in his life, and Luke was the only bright light in his life.

"No one loved Luke more than his father. No one loved Luke more than me - we both loved him.

"I'm in shock, disbelief, (but I have) the amazing support of my family and friends.

"My family are from England and they are coming out now.

"And what I want to share with you is: I'm the victim of family violence, and if anything comes out of this, I want it to be a lesson to everybody."

Police say the man confronted officers with a knife when they arrived at the ground in the early evening on Wednesday.

Regional police commander Doug Fryer said four police officers attempted to talk the man down and discharged pepper spray before shooting him once in the chest.

Commander Fryer said the boy's injuries were "quite brutal".

"We've had an absolute tragedy here tonight," he said. "It's an horrific scene."

Young children are among the witnesses police are speaking to.

"My officers were confronted by a man with a knife," Commander Fryer said.

"They've attempted to talk him down. Any attempt to talk him down was unsuccessful and they've discharged a firearm, hitting him once in the chest. It's obviously shattering."

He would not say if the man was known to police.

"It's something that thankfully we don't see too often but still far too often," Commander Fryer continued, adding: "I don't know how a parent gets through losing a young boy in these sorts of circumstances."

Wayne Carter, the boy's former cub leader, told local radio that Luke was an enthusiastic cub who would be sorely missed.

"He was an individual. He had his own way of doing things but he was outgoing," Mr Carter told Fairfax Radio.

"He would give anything a try even if it didn't quite work the first time.

"He embraced everything he did with gusto."

A woman who knew the boy, Gill Metzen, told The Age newspaper: "He's only a young little thing but he had a good personality, he was a good kid and Rosie (his mother) would do anything for him, it was just beautiful."

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