News State New South Wales Man who heard voices jailed for ‘brutal’ stepfather killing
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Man who heard voices jailed for ‘brutal’ stepfather killing

Supreme-Court-NSW
AAP
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A Sydney man who stabbed his stepfather to death while in the grips of psychosis has been jailed for at least five and a half years.

Michael Villalon, 30, was found not guilty of murdering Keith Chaney in their Mascot home in Sydney’s south in February 2012, but pleaded guilty to manslaughter over the “deliberate, brutal and sustained” attack.

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In the NSW Supreme Court on Thursday, sentencing judge Derek Price described how an argument about keeping doors open ended with Villalon striking Mr Chaney with a figurine before stabbing him repeatedly with a knife.

Justice Price said Villalon’s relationship with his stepfather had soured after he moved to Australia from the Philippines in 2009.

In the months before his death, Mr Chaney became antagonistic towards his stepson, subjecting him to “nagging, threats and physical assaults”.

Mr Chaney also watched pornography in the family’s lounge room and forced Villalon to watch pornographic movies while transferring them onto discs.

“The offender found the deceased’s behaviour inappropriate and considered him to be a pervert,” Justice Price said.

But Villalon was also battling the early signs of what has since been diagnosed as schizophrenia.

He believed Mr Chaney was secretly contaminating his drinking water, and commented to others he could hear a baby crying and a woman repeatedly saying, “Help, help!”.

“He believed that the deceased had buried a woman beneath the house … (and) that the deceased was putting various medications into the drinking water and milk,” Justice Price said.

Expert evidence suggested Villalon was suffering from an “underlying psychotic illness” at the time of the killing.

The judge said Villalon might have felt justified in killing his stepfather and Mr Chaney’s nagging and assaults before the crime could be said to amount to provocation.

But although Villalon was mentally impaired at the time of the attack, he still had some sense of right and wrong.

Justice Price sentenced Villalon to eight years, with a non-parole period of five years and six months.

With time served, he could be released in August 2017.