Brother killer to spend up to 25 years in mental health hospital

A man who stabbed and killed his brother at a shopping centre then evaded authorities for 2½ years could spend up to 25 years at a secure mental health hospital after being found not guilty of murder.

Jonathan Dick waited outside a lift for younger brother David at a Doncaster mall, slashing him with a samurai sword and stabbing him with a knife during a brutal 66-second attack on February 3, 2017.

Jonathan Dick was found not guilty of murder and other charges by way of mental impairment.Credit:Victoria Police

He spent the next 2½ years as Victoria’s most wanted man until he was spotted by former school friend David Cammarata, and was then subdued and arrested in central Melbourne on August 19, 2019.

Mr Dick had swung a pick hammer at Mr Cammarata outside the former friend’s home a year before the arrest.

A Supreme Court judge last year found Mr Dick not guilty, by way of mental impairment, of murder, attempted murder and stalking after hearing he was suffering the effects of a severe mental illness when he killed his brother and attacked Mr Cammarata.

But it took almost nine months after Justice Lex Lasry’s finding for a bed to become available for Mr Dick at the Thomas Embling Hospital.

David Dick died after being attacked by his brother in 2017.Credit:Victoria Police

On Friday, Justice Lasry said Mr Dick, 43, would be transferred from prison to the Fairfield hospital, where he would receive treatment for his mental health problems under a custodial supervision order with a nominal time of 25 years. How long he stays at the hospital will depend on how he responds to his treatment.

The time Mr Dick spent in jail after his arrest would be deducted from the years he spends at the Thomas Embling Hospital.

Mr Dick’s lawyer, Pardeep Tiwana, said his client knew it was inevitable he would be transferred to the hospital under a 25-year order.

Mr Tiwana told the court Mr Dick was anxious to convey his remorse and apologies to his family and the Cammarata family “for the tragic events” that happened when he was “extremely unwell”. Mr Dick was also grateful for his mother’s ongoing support, Mr Tiwana said.

Jonathan Dick after his arrest in Melbourne in 2019.Credit:Nine

Family victim impact statements from Mr Dick’s mother and the Cammarata family were tendered in court but not read aloud.

Two forensic psychiatrists last year told the court Mr Dick had been diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia and it was clear he was suffering bizarre and grandiose delusions and was mentally unwell when he killed David Dick and attacked Mr Cammarata.

One psychiatrist said Jonathan Dick believed his brother and his former friend had committed past “misdeeds” and it was his destiny to harm them.

Jonathan Dick.Credit:Victoria Police

Justice Lasry found it was likely Mr Dick developed schizophrenia from 2010 or 2011, and there were at least three attempts to get him treatment in 2012, 2013 and 2015, over his delusions and behaviour.

Since his time in custody, there had been a reduction in his delusions and he had developed an insight into his illness, the court previously heard.

Justice Lasry will review the case in a year.

If you or anyone you know needs support call Lifeline on 131 114, or Beyond Blue’s coronavirus mental wellbeing support service on 1800 512 348.

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