News National Luke Batty’s dad showed him knife while praying

Luke Batty’s dad showed him knife while praying

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Luke Batty loved his dad and did not fear him, despite his father once showing him a knife and telling him “this could be the one to end it all”.

Rosie Batty thought about calling police when Greg Anderson turned up at their 11-year-old son’s cricket training the night Luke died, but decided not to.

Ms Batty said previous attempts to have Anderson arrested at the Victorian oval had proved traumatic and unpredictable.

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She said she thought: “This will be the third time I’ve tried to get this man arrested in front of Luke and his friends at that bloody oval.”

Anderson hit Luke with a cricket bat then attacked him with a knife at the Tyabb cricket oval in February before being shot by police, later dying in hospital.

Ms Batty told an inquest into Luke’s death she originally wanted her son to have a relationship with his father.

But she changed her mind in April 2013 when Luke revealed his father had pulled out the knife and began praying as he sat in his car with his son.

As he held up the knife, Anderson told Luke: “This could be the one to end it all.”

“I was so alarmed I knew I could no longer support his relationship with his father,” Ms Batty told the Victorian Coroners Court on Monday.

“When Luke shared with me that his dad had shown him the knife … I didn’t understand the context.”

Rosie Batty at her son Luke's funeral.
Rosie Batty at her son’s funeral. Photo: Getty

Counsel assisting the inquest Rachel Ellyard said Luke reported the incident to police and a child protection officer, but told them he loved his father and was not in fear of him.

She said police and a Department of Human Services worker were satisfied Luke was not in danger at the time.

Ms Batty questioned why social workers had not considered it as a threat to Luke’s life when they spoke to him about the incident.

“Why didn’t the experts identify it as such at the time? Why was it apparently left to me to identify it as a huge warning sign?”, she said in a written statement tendered in court.

Ms Batty told the inquest Luke never believed his father would be violent towards him.

Anderson’s contact with Luke was restricted by a 2012 intervention which was changed to block access after the knife incident in April, 2013.

The order was changed again in July, 2013 to allow access at weekend football and cricket matches.

Anderson was technically in breach of that order on the weekday he killed Luke.

He was facing multiple arrest warrants when he killed Luke and police had charged him with child porn offences in January, 2013.

Ms Batty said she was never told Anderson had failed to appear in court on charges of assault and failing to answer bail, and only learned of the child porn allegations six months after he was charged.

Sitting beside a large framed photograph of Luke, Ms Batty wept as she described Luke as the centre of her world.

“He was everything, he was my only son, my only child,” she said.

“He was the centre of my life. I made every decision for him.

“I never want anyone to be sitting where I’m sitting.”

Anderson and Luke had been practising in the cricket nets before the attack, which was witnessed by an eight-year-old boy.

Ms Ellyard said the boy saw Anderson raise the bat over his right shoulder but didn’t see it connect with Luke.

When paramedics and police arrived, a blood-drenched Anderson lunged at them with a knife and was shot by the officers.

He said “let me die” as paramedics attempted to treat him.

When ambulance workers tried to approach Luke, Anderson said “he’s in heaven now”.

* Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467.

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