Victoria’s Chief Police Commissioner Ken Lay says police had been dealing with complaints against Anderson for at least a decade and there were five outstanding warrants for his arrest relating to domestic violence.
“We owe it to the community, we owe it to Luke, we owe it to Rosie to understand exactly what happened not only with police, but other services so the community can understand exactly what happened but I just hope that this may well be the next step to get so much better in the family violence space,”
We can reveal that Greg Anderson should have been behind bars when he murdered his son.
Police failed to execute arrest warrants in the weeks leading up to Wednesday night’s horrific incident.
Anderson was a violent drifter who had tormented his estranged family for years.
The warrants were issued after he repeatedly failed to turn up at court on charges of assaulting Luke’s mum and threatening to kill her.
It is understood four separate warrants for his arrest were issued throughout January but police failed to apprehend him.
Victoria Police said that its investigations would look into “not only the events on the night, but also all relevant circumstances which preceded them”.
The force said it would not be commenting further.
On May 16, 2012, Anderson assaulted Rosie Batty by grabbing her by the hair, pushing her to the ground and kicking her before threatening her with a glass vase.
Ms Batty told police she feared her former partner suffered from some form of mental disorder.
Anderson was also arrested and charged after making threats to kill her on January 3 last year.
During the incident Anderson allegedly said to Ms Batty: “Right now I really want to kill you. I want to cut off your foot. I hope you have made a will.”
Anderson was arrested again by police on May 27 last year after attending his son’s football training.
Sources say Anderson, who was living in his unregistered car, had little to do with his son for years before re-entering his life and taking his mother through a long court battle.
Although known to Hastings and Frankston police, who felt sorry for Ms Batty, Anderson’s legal matters were ongoing so he didn’t have prior convictions at the time of his death.
Despite the incidents of domestic violence in the past two years, Anderson and Ms Batty had tried to work out access visits for Luke. In addition to the threats to kill and assault charges, Anderson was also facing a charge relating to accessing child porn.
He was arrested after viewing the porn at Emerald Hill Library on November 17, 2012.
Library staff noticed what he was looking at and raised the alarm. When Anderson was arrested he was found with a USB stick containing the child porn images.
Sources say Anderson had psychological issues but refused to be assessed or treated.
It is believed family had wanted Anderson to get counselling but he had refused.
Considering there were warrants out for Anderson’s arrest, questions have been raised as to whether he should have been allowed to have an access visit.
A man who shared a house with Anderson said he had to ask him to leave after being threatened with death.
The man, who did not want to be named, had lived with Anderson in Chelsea Heights since late last year but decided three weeks ago he had to go.
“We knew he had psychological problems but we found out recently how crazy he was,” the man said yesterday.
“He threatened to kill me. I had to take out an intervention order against him. I was meant to go
LUKE Batty was seen with his father after 6pm, when training finished, doing extra batting practice.
It is understood about 20 minutes later, the father was spotted bending over the motionless boy.
Police believe the child had been struck to the head with a cricket bat and attacked with a knife as he lay prone on the field. It was initially thought Luke may have suffered a sporting injury so ambulance officers were called. They were confronted by a bloodied, knife-wielding Mr Anderson.
Four police arrived soon after and were menaced by Mr Anderson, who reportedly asked to be shot as he advanced on them. Capsicum spray had no impact and, as he then closed on one policeman, that officer fired one shot to the chest, felling Mr Anderson.
Police then moved in and cleared the weapon away but Mr Anderson continued to struggle as paramedics tried to get him into an ambulance and off to hospital.
No car connected to the armed dad was found at the scene, leading police to believe he may have caught the train from Chelsea Heights to Tyabb. A premeditated suicide-by-cop scenario is one element of the probe into the tragedy.
The father made no attempt to leave the scene after the attack on his son and continued to advance on police as the risk of being shot escalated.
Police Association Secretary Greg Davies said there was then no option but to fire.
“There’s every likelihood this is suicide-by-cop. You’ve got a knife and they’ve all got firearms,” Sen-Sgt Davies said.
“It’s a police officer’s worst nightmare to see a young tacker apparently murdered by a man who turns out to be his father, who then advances on you with a knife. They (police) appear to have done everything possible to avoid this outcome.”
Veteran police were shocked at the brutality, one comparing it with the actions of child-killers Robert Farquharson and Arthur Freeman. “This is horrific and it’s in front of other kids,” one officer said.
HISTORY OF VIOLENCE
May 2012: Anderson unlawfully assaults Rosemary Batty at her home in Tyabb by grabbing her hair, pushing her to the ground and kicking her before threatening her with a glass vase. Later charged.
November 2012: Caught by staff at Emerald Hill library viewing child porn on a public computer. Charged by police with viewing child porn and two months later possessing child porn when officers find him with a USB stick containing the images.
January 2013: Anderson again attends Ms Batty’s home and allegedly threatens to kill her. Arrested later that day and charged.
April 2013: Fails to appear in accordance with his bail conditions at Frankston Magistrates’ Court.
January 2014: Warrants are issued for Anderson’s arrest after repeated failures to attend his court dates.
What a tragic awful crime, committed in front of kids and families who just finished cricket training. It must have been so hard for paramedics trying to save this cowards life after he had just murdered his own son in cold blood. My heart goes out to the mum who was also there and witnessed it…
WHY does this happen?
UPDATE 5.30 pm 13/02/14
Rosie Batty in ‘disbelief’ after son Luke killed on cricket oval by father Greg, who had history of mental illness
By Monique Ross
The mother of an 11-year-old boy killed by his father at a cricket ground in Victoria has spoken of her shock, and revealed her estranged partner had a history of mental illness and was the subject of an apprehended violence order (AVO).
Luke Batty was killed in front of horrified onlookers after a cricket training session at the oval in the small town of Tyabb, south-east of Melbourne, on Wednesday evening.
His 54-year-old father Greg was shot by police at the scene and died in hospital early this morning.
Luke’s mother Rosie Batty was at the cricket ground when the tragedy unfolded, after her son asked for “a few more minutes” with his father.
This afternoon she described her “shock” and “disbelief” and told reporters her estranged partner Greg was a man who loved his son but had suffered from an undiagnosed mental illness for two decades.
“Luke was nearly as tall as me. He was sensitive. He enjoyed his footy, he enjoyed his cricket,” she said.
Luke was nearly as tall as me. He was effervescent, he was funny. He wasn’t the best scholar but he was intelligent.
“He was effervescent, he was funny. He wasn’t the best scholar but he was intelligent. He enjoyed his school.”
She says Luke loved his father and “felt pain” because he knew he was struggling.
“He was a little boy in a growing body that felt pain and sadness and fear for his mum, and he always believed he would be safe with his dad,” she said.
“[I told him] ‘you’ll always love your dad. You won’t always like what they do or say, but you’ll always love your dad, and he’ll always love you’.”
Father had long history of mental illness
Ms Batty says she had known Greg for 20 years, and over that time his mental health deteriorated.
“[He went] from someone who brushed off losing a job to someone that was unemployable,” she said.
“He was in a homelessness situation for many years. His life was failing. Everything was becoming worse in his life and Luke was the only bright light in his life.”
She says Greg had been offered help, but he failed to accept it, instead choosing to “believe he was OK”.
She had an AVO against Greg, but says he loved Luke and there were no signs he would ever hurt their son.
No-one loved Luke more than Greg, his father. No-one loved Luke more than me. We both loved him.
“You’re dealing with someone who’s always had problems, and they start out small and over the years they get bigger, but he’s still the father,” she said.
“He loved his son. Everyone that’s involved with children would know that whatever action they take is not because they don’t love them.
“No-one loved Luke more than Greg, his father. No-one loved Luke more than me. We both loved him.”
She says people thought she was the one at risk, and some had urged her to return to her home country.
“Doctors, psychologists, everyone said to me, why don’t you go back to England and live there? But Luke wanted to be here,” she said.
“His school was here, his friends were here. And I had decided that was the right choice.”
‘Family violence happens to everybody’
Ms Batty says if there is a silver lining to be found in the tragedy, it will be increased awareness about the issue of family violence.
“I want to tell people that family violence happens to [anybody], no matter how nice your house is, no matter how intelligent you are,” she said.
“When you’re involved with family violence, friends, family judge you, the woman. The decisions you should make, the decisions you don’t make.
I want to tell people that family violence happens to [anybody], no matter how nice your house is, no matter how intelligent you are.
“You’re the victim, but you become the person that people condemn.
“The people here reading this will say ‘why didn’t she protect him, why didn’t she make certain decisions’.
“But when you actually finally decide enough is enough, and decide to go through a court process, you do not know what the outcome will be.
‘What I want people to take from this is that it isn’t simple. People judge you, people tell you what you should do. You do the best you can.”
She says she does not regret allowing Greg to have a relationship with his son despite the problems, as her “guiding star” was ensuring Luke knew he was loved by both of his parents.
Mother first thought it was an accident
Ms Batty says her son died after what was “just a normal cricket practice”.
“Most of the kids and parents had gone. Luke came to me and said, ‘could I have a few more minutes with my dad’ because he doesn’t see him very often and I said, ‘sure, OK’,” she said.
“There was no reason to be concerned. I thought it was in an open environment.”
She says when she realised something was wrong, she thought an accident had happened and tried to call an ambulance.
“I tried to ring but couldn’t ring because I was too stressed. I looked for help and I ran towards help, screaming ‘get an ambulance, this is really bad’,” she said.
“I thought Greg had accidentally hurt him from a bowling accident … and that Greg’s anguish was because he had hurt Luke accidentally.
“I was screaming, I was inconsolable.”
Paramedics called to the sports ground on Frankston-Flinders Road treated the boy but were unable to revive him.
Police are refusing to give more details of the incident, but some witnesses say a cricket bat was used.
Ms Batty says it was only later that she realised that what happened to Luke was not an accident.
“What I saw that I thought was Greg comforting Luke and helping him with what I thought was an accident, wasn’t necessarily what I saw,” she said.
“The full extent of what happened I don’t want anyone, other than the [coroner], to know.
“Luke was killed by his father. No-one else including myself needs to know the details of what he actually did.”
‘Police acted the way they needed to act’
Homicide detectives have spoken to several children who saw Luke die and then watched as police then shot his father.
Officers say they shot the man in the chest after he threatened them with a knife. Police say they tried to subdue him with capsicum spray but that did not work.
Greg, from Chelsea Heights, was flown to Melbourne’s Alfred Hospital, where he died about 1:30am.
Ms Batty says police did not do anything wrong.
“The police acted the way they needed to act. In the past Greg has been confrontational and difficult,” she said.
“The police had no other option.”
She says Greg had not violated terms of the AVO by attending the event.
“It was allowed from the intervention order. It was a public place, I believed he was safe,” she said.
“It was just a little cricket practice. There was people there, I believed he was safe.”
Ms Batty says she is grateful for the support of loved ones, and will soon be joined by family who are travelling to Australia from England.
February 13, 2014 12:02PM
EMOTIONAL friends have paid tribute online to an 11-year-old boy who was stabbed to death on the Mornington Peninsula last night.
Luke Batty was horrifically killed by his father during cricket training at Tyabb Cricket Ground about 6.30pm yesterday.
Paramedics frantically tried to revive the Grade 6 student, but he died at the scene from head injuries.
Tributes to the slain boy began pouring in on social media last night, with one Facebook page attracting nearly 6,000 members by 9am.
Carol Bennett said she was “so sorry that you were taken so early in your life and in such a horrific way.”
Tahila Williams wrote: “It’s sad to see such a young boy have his life taken away from him when he had done nothing wrong.”
Yvette Wagg said: “Very sad and shocked to hear this devastating news… Condolences to all”.
After the attack four police officers tried to subdue his knife-wielding father with capsicum spray before shooting him in the chest, witnesses said.
“I can confirm that the male that the police shot was the father of the deceased boy,” Commander Doug Fryer said last night.
The boy’s mother was at the ground.
“We’ve had an absolute tragedy here tonight,” Commander Fryer said from the scene.
“It’s a horrific scene.”
Speaking this morning, Commander Fryer said it had been a “shocking time” for the boy’s family, the witnesses at the scene and the officers involved.
“Our members were confronted by an incident that thankfully, it’s very rare when it happens, but when it does, they put their training into practice,” Commander Fryer told 3AW.
“They used an option that they thought appropriate and unfortunately we’ve now got two people dead.”
Commander Fryer said the boy’s mother, who was estranged from his father, was “in close proximity to where this happened”.
“I don’t know how a mother gets past losing her son in these sorts of ways,” he said.
Children were at the ground for cricket training and Commander Fryer said police wanted to speak to anyone who witnessed the incident.
“We spoke to a lot of people last night,” he said.
“Because cricket practice had just finished, we think there were probably kids down there and parents down there that may have seen something who we haven’t yet spoken to.
Luke’s classmates were told of his tragic death this morning when they arrived at Flinders Christian Community College in Tyabb.
The flag was flying at half-mast as parents, students and teachers rallied around each other.
Luke was remembered as a popular, happy child who loved life and enjoyed his sport at an emotional school meeting this morning.
Executive principal Jill Healey said the death of the popular Year 6 student was “an absolute shock and a tragedy”.
“There were lots of tears this morning,” she said.
She said the school community was coping as well as could be expected, and that counselling had been arranged for all those affected by Luke’s death.
Luke’s friends plan to hold a vigil for the 11-year-old at the cricket oval where he was killed.
The small community is reeling from the horrible crime and friends have already begun to bring flowers.
Taylor Cuthbertson, 15, said a friend of hers was a witness to the horrible scenes.
“He was just crying when he was telling me what happened.
“It’s so horrible.”
Emergency services were called to the oval on Frankston-Flinders Rd in Tyabb about 6.30pm yesterday following the vicious attack.
Witnesses said when officers from Mornington police station arrived, the father turned on them with a knife, forcing them to shoot him.
The man was flown to The Alfred hospital, where he later died.
The incident shocked the local community, with one resident describing it as “bloody horrific”.
Tyabb Cricket Club officials would not comment about the incident last night, saying it was “too raw”.
But the club’s junior cricket co-ordinator, Ron Dyall, said the boy — in grade 6 at Flinders Christian Community College — had played for the club for two or three years and was also an avid footballer.
Mr Dyall said he was devastated by what had happened.
“As his coach, I knew him pretty well,” he said.
“My own son plays in his team. I’m trying to figure out how to break it to him, and how we’re gonna deal with the kids.”
Local Wayne Murray, 64, said he heard what he thought was fireworks about the time of the shooting.
He said “a shiver (ran) down my spine” when he learned the sounds were gunshots.
“I heard a couple of pop pops,” he said.
“It didn’t sound unusually loud. I’ve never seen anything like this. It doesn’t happen here.”
Melissa, 37, who did not wish to give her surname, said her father had also heard gunshots.
“We heard helicopters going over the oval,” she said. “I have an 11-year-old. I was nearly in tears when I heard.”
Commander Fryer said four local officers were confronted by the knife-wielding man when they arrived about 6.40pm.
“They’ve attempted to use less than lethal force (OC foam). They’ve attempted to talk him down. That has been unsuccessful,” he said.
“They have then discharged a firearm, hitting that male once in the chest.”
Commander Fryer said police were still working to determine what caused the local boy’s death.
He could not confirm reports the boy was being beaten by his father with a cricket bat when police arrived, but said he suffered “significant injuries”.