A TEEN who was found guilty of murdering a Maryborough man will not be sent to an adult prison when he is sentenced next week.
The 18-year-old appeared in the Supreme Court on Wednesday for a further plea hearing, after a jury last year found him guilty of killing John Bourke on July 15, 2018.
That night, the then-15-year-old and an older boy left a party and went to Mr Bourke's Derby Road home.
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The 15-year-old wanted to confront another man who had allegedly sexually assaulted a close friend, but attacked Mr Bourke in a case of mistaken identity.
The younger boy kicked in the front door of Mr Bourke's home and began assaulting him when he came to the door on crutches.
The older boy, then aged 17, punched the 45-year-old twice in the head and stomped on his leg between two and four times.
The 15-year-old continued to attack Mr Bourke even after his older friend tried to stop him. The teen stomped on the man's head twice, killing him.
Mr Bourke had osteogenesis imperfecta, or 'brittle bone disease', which left him highly susceptible to fractures.
At a plea hearing earlier this year, defence counsel Rishi Nathwani said the 18-year-old had immediately shown remorse for the attack as witnesses saw him crying when he returned to the party.
The defence counsel said the teen was also remorseful in the police interview the next day.
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Mr Nathwani said the teen had a history of post traumatic stress disorder and depression after being physically abused as a child.
The defence counsel submitted another psychiatric report to the Supreme Court on Wednesday, which showed the teen had since been diagnosed with schizophrenia.
Mr Nathwani said the 18-year-old was receiving medication for his mental illness, but it was clear his time in custody would be more onerous due to the diagnosis.
Crown prosecutor Grant Haywood conceded that would be the case.
"The stressors of jail could amount to a serious risk that it would have an adverse effect on his mental health," he said.
Mr Haywood also conceded it would be appropriate for the 18-year-old to be detained in a youth justice centre rather than an adult prison until he turned 21.
Justice Elizabeth Hollingworth accepted that would be the appropriate course of action.
Justice Hollingworth also noted that due to the COVID-19 restrictions in Melbourne, it would not be possible for Mr Bourke's family to appear in court for the sentence.
"I respect the family's wish to be involved, but we can't have everyone in the courtroom," she said. "It's less than ideal, but it's how it has to be."
The teen was remanded in custody ahead of his sentence. He is due to return to the Supreme Court on Tuesday.
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