‘He’s trying to steal my car,’ man yelled before alleged murder by son

We’re sorry, this feature is currently unavailable. We’re working to restore it. Please try again later.


‘He’s trying to steal my car,’ man yelled before alleged murder by son

By Sarah McPhee

A man accused of killing his father in Sydney’s north allegedly fought with the older man over car keys before a neighbour heard someone yell out “He’s dead”, a court has heard.

Jaiken Richard Fitzpatrick, 38, was charged with the murder of Kenneth Fitzpatrick after the 69-year-old died from serious injuries at his Berowra Heights home on September 7.

Jaiken Richard Fitzpatrick was refused bail in Downing Centre Local Court on Thursday.

Jaiken Richard Fitzpatrick was refused bail in Downing Centre Local Court on Thursday.Credit: Facebook

New details of the allegations against Fitzpatrick were revealed at his unsuccessful bail application in Downing Centre Local Court on Thursday. The accused killer appeared via video link, while his mother sat quietly in the public gallery.

Police prosecutor Nicholas Dobson said a neighbour had witnessed an argument and a “wrestle over some car keys”.

“As a result of that, the victim’s face was covered in blood,” he said.

“The victim was heard yelling, ‘He’s trying to steal my car’.”

The scene of the alleged murder in Berowra Heights in September.

The scene of the alleged murder in Berowra Heights in September.Credit: Nick Moir

The prosecutor said the accused then crashed the car into the garage and his father removed the keys from the vehicle. This was allegedly followed by a second scuffle.

“There’s yelling heard ... which then goes silent,” he said. “At that time, someone’s heard to yell out, ‘He’s dead’.”


He said the neighbour went to the home, called triple zero and paramedics arrived. The older man was found dead against a bookshelf near the front door, and Fitzpatrick was inside the premises, Dobson said.

“The accused then makes that admission to the paramedic that he’s had a fight with his dad,” he said.

“I note the facts are silent on the exact cause of death but the rational inference to be drawn is [that] the death was the result of a fight.”

A green ute with a frog logo, attached to the Little Green Truck pick-up and delivery franchise business, was towed from the property the day after the alleged murder.

Arguing against bail, the prosecutor submitted that the charge of murder carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment, and if convicted, any sentence imposed on Fitzpatrick would likely exceed any time spent in custody on remand.

Fitzpatrick’s lawyer Tania Johnson submitted it was a “weak prosecution case”. She said the timing of the yelling heard by the neighbour was unclear, and did not necessarily show the “only rational inference” was that the death was caused by a fight.


She said there was “ambiguity” over which fight Fitzpatrick was referring to when he spoke to the paramedic.

“Clearly, on the police facts, there are two incidents in which Mr Fitzpatrick was having a fight with his father,” Johnson said. She said the deceased “could have fallen in that position” independently.

Magistrate Christopher Longley noted Fitzpatrick was facing “probably the most serious offence” in the criminal justice system.

“It’s the Crown’s contention that the accused caused the death of his father,” he said. “It is somewhat accepted that it is a circumstantial case.”

Longley said most cases resulting in a person’s death were circumstantial “because no witnesses are present, usually, when the coup de grâce is alleged to have occurred, and this is one of them”.

A coup de grâce is defined as a “death blow”.

The magistrate said Fitzpatrick’s concession about a fight with his father could be attributed to one of two altercations which occurred in a short space of time, and neighbours had heard a disagreement taking place.

“Shortly after each of these two events, the use of the car keys, and the accused entering the house, it was discovered that his father had passed away,” he said.

Longley acknowledged Fitzpatrick had domestic violence matters on his record, tendered by the prosecutor, and was placed on a community corrections order two weeks before the alleged murder.

“I accept on the available evidence there are mental health issues,” the magistrate said.

He said while the defence had argued Fitzpatrick needed to be on bail to prepare his case, it appeared to be a “pretty strong circumstantial” one.

“Bail will be refused,” Longley said.

The case returns to court on October 31.

Start the day with a summary of the day’s most important and interesting stories, analysis and insights. Sign up for our Morning Edition newsletter.

Most Viewed in National