After consuming magic mushrooms at his brother’s birthday last year, Nicholas Field went to his grandparents’ house and fatally assaulted his grandmother.
Immediately horrified by what he’d done he tried to take his own life, telling police who came to arrest him to shoot him instead.
Feeling unreserved shame and sorrow, he expected to be shunned by his family for what he’d done.
But the Geelong man’s family – his partner, mother and widowed grandfather – continue to support him.
The 38-year-old is now behind bars awaiting sentence after pleading guilty to manslaughter.
Supreme Court Justice Jacinta Taylor said even as police and paramedics attended to 84-year-old Beryl Field after she was attacked on July 4 last year, she protected her grandson.
In a pre-sentence hearing on Friday the court heard Mrs Field asked officers “please don’t arrest him”.
She died in hospital weeks later, the result of complications from head and abdominal injuries.
She’d been at home with her husband when Field showed up just before 9pm.
He’d consumed two magic mushroom drinks as well as dried mushrooms at his brother’s birthday earlier in the evening and others described him as clearly affected, becoming emotional and distressed.
He walked to his grandparents’ house and told his grandfather Max Field he wasn’t in a good way.
Mr Field invited his grandson inside.
Field was rambling loudly as he smashed a light shade and removed his jumper and shirt before pushing his grandmother to the ground.
He kicked a heater in the living room before going back to the kitchen where he kicked Mrs Field in the stomach.
Field then smashed a glass cabinet and pushed over a television, which struck Mr Field in the head.
Prosecutor Robyn Harper said after Mr Field left to get help from a neighbour, Field fled with plans to take his own life.
A neighbour held him until police arrived.
“As police arrested him he stated that he had just killed his grandparents and asked police to shoot him,” Ms Harper said.
Defence lawyer Paul Stefanovic said Field’s remorse was immediate and substantial.
It was not for the predicament he is now in, but primarily for “devastating harm” he had caused his grandmother, the impact on his grandmother and his own mother, and the effect his actions will have on his partner and their children, he said.
Among 27 character references in support of Field were letters from his grandfather Max Field, his mother, an aunt, siblings and cousins.
“He expected to be shunned by all for what he had done since he himself felt it was inexcusable,” Mr Stefanovic said.
Their support has made him intent on rehabilitation, he said.
Field asked to read his own letter to the court, but Justice Taylor described that as unorthodox and refused.
He will be sentenced at a later date.
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