Friday, 05 Sep, 2008 Offbeat
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Man Killed His Son After the Argument Over Pet Dog

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A man who killed his son after he argued about a pet dog will spend over 18 years in prison.

August 19, 2006: it was a usual day - 51-year-old Gregory Mark Howard had been shopping together with his 23-year old son Jacob Digby. They had a few drinks and suddenly started arguing outside a Punchbowl service station.

Digby ordered his dog to sit outside the door. Right after Howard moved the dog the two came to blows. The fight ended with Howard holding a knife at his son's throat. Nobody died in that quarrel and the two returned to their homes located on the same street.

When later that evening Digby faced up to Howard about the quarrel, his father shot him two times, first time in the chest and then in the head. The man was found guilty in the first day of the NSW Supreme Court's hearing.

The court was told that the man fired a warning shot at his son, but Digby didn't stop moving towards him. Then Howard closed his eyes and fired twice.

"I've just shot my son dead. I fired a warning shot to go away and he was gunna beat the s--t out of me ... and I shot him again and he's dead," Howard told the Triple-O operator.

According to Justice Robert Hulme, the two were alcoholics and both had been drinking in the same day when father shot his son dead. Justice Hulme added that Digby made some provocative signs. Nevertheless, he added, it doesn't mean that Howard's reaction could be justified.

"Common experience indicates that those affected by alcohol do not always act sensibly toward others," he said.

Justice Hulme also mentioned that he was satisfied with the fact that Howard had shown regret and that he had good views on rehabilitation.

"I have no doubt also that these feelings are the stronger for the fact that it was his own flesh and blood that the prisoner killed and that, independently of any sentence I impose, the prisoner is suffering substantially for his crime," said Justice Hulme, who sentenced the man to 18 and a half years in prison without parole for 14 years.

Source: Sydney Morning Herald

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