Gursewak Dhillon, 25, today pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of Gurshan Singh Channa, whose body was found dumped in long grass on a roadside on March 4 this year.
The Supreme Court today heard Dhillon, a taxi driver, had continually denied any involvement in Gurshan’s death, but later broke down and told the truth.
In an unusual step, Detective Sen-Sgt Ron Iddles gave evidence on behalf of the Indian national. He told the court in his 22 years of investigating homicides, Dhillon was the only accused person to ask to meet with the victim’s family.
“I think that action in itself showed genuine remorse,’’ Det Sen-Sgt Iddles said.
“I think he is genuinely sorry for what happened.”
Details of the extraordinary police interview with were revealed in court today by Dhillon’s barrister Chris Winneke.
“There were long pauses, then he (Dhillon) shifts his chair, moves over to Iddles, holds his hand, looks him in the eyes ands starts to tell him what happened,’’ Mr Winneke said.
“He essentially broke down”.
The court heard Dhillon accidentally hit little Gurshan while opening a security door at the front of the Lalor house he shared with the toddler’s parents Harjit Singh and Harpreet Kaur Channa.
Mr Winneke described what happened next as the result of “fear, panic, naivety and stupidity”.
The court was told Dhillon put the little boy in the boot of his car and drove around for more than two hours before dumping him on the roadside at Oaklands Junction, in Melbourne’s north.
“I was afraid and I wanted to keep myself safe,’’ he later told police.
“I just drive and drive and drive for more than two hours.”
Autopsy reports found the toddler did not die as a result of the injuries he sustained in the accident with the door. The court heard Gurshan may have died of heatstroke when temperatures in the boot reached more than 40 degrees.
Dhillon has pleaded guilty to manslaughter by criminal negligence. He was remanded in custody until February 2 when he will be sentenced by Justice Lex Lasry.