Man who stabbed his father to death in Long Gully found not guilty by way of mental impairment

Police on the scene after Douglas Blow's body was found in his house on Battery Street in November last year.
Police on the scene after Douglas Blow's body was found in his house on Battery Street in November last year.

A BENDIGO man who stabbed his father to death in Long Gully has been found not guilty by way of mental impairment after a court found he was suffering acute psychosis and he was being instructed by “hallucinatory voices”.

Andrew Blow, 26, was charged with the murder of Douglas Blow, 50, at a home on Battery Street on November 5 last year.

Justice Michael Croucher found Blow not guilty by way of mental impairment at a hearing in the Supreme Court in Melbourne on Wednesday.

The court heard Blow arrived at his father’s house with two friends, who remained in a car out the front and were unaware of what was to follow.

Blow paced around the front of the property for a minute before walking in the front door, armed with a small kitchen knife.

He stabbed Douglas Blow repeatedly to the upper body, head and neck before he was driven back to his home in Kangaroo Flat.

Two friends helped Blow to burn his clothes and clean his car. Blow then slept in his car for two nights.

Douglas Blow was found dead a day later by four of his children.

Police notified Blow of his father’s death on November 7, and he provided a detailed account of the stabbing. He has been in custody ever since.

The court heard Blow has had schizophrenia since at least the age of 17, exacerbated by his ice and cannabis use.

A psychiatrist report found Blow had disengaged from psychiatric follow-up and was not taking medication at the time of the stabbing. 

It also found he had a “delusional preoccupation” with his father.

“This delusional belief and the possible occurrence of auditory hallucinations motivated his fatal assault on his father,” the report read.

“I consider that he knew the nature and quality of his conduct. I do not believe however that he was able to reason with a moderate degree of sense and composure about the wrongfulness of his conduct.”

Justice Croucher said while Blow had some appreciation of the wrongdoing of his actions soon after the incident, he was satisfied that acute schizophrenia had deprived him of capacity for reasoning.

“I am also satisfied, on the balance of probabilities, that the defence of mental impairment was operative at the time of the killing,” he said.

Justice Croucher said Blow would likely receive a custodial supervision order.

He will next appear in court on February 9.