News State Victoria News Luke Batty feared for his life

Luke Batty feared for his life

Rosie Batty leaves the Coroners Court of Victoria in Melbourne
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Rosie Batty wanted the courts and police to step in and block Greg Anderson from seeing their son so the onus wasn’t solely on her to battle him, an inquest has heard.

Psychologist Jan Heath counselled Ms Batty for several months in 2013 as she faced a series of court cases to restrict Anderson’s access to Luke Batty.

Dr Heath described an “anomaly” in Ms Batty’s thinking, whereby she felt Luke should have some relationship with his father but also wanted the courts and police to step up and block Anderson’s access.

Luke Batty scared of dad after horror film
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“She didn’t want to have to say to him he could not see Luke, she wanted the courts and police to,” Dr Heath told the inquest into Luke’s death.

“This would take the onerous task off her shoulders.

“She did want the courts to say he couldn’t because she didn’t feel strong enough to.”

Anderson murdered his 11-year-old son with a cricket bat and knife as they played together in the nets after cricket training at the Tyabb oval in February.

Dr Heath said Ms Batty described Anderson as delusional, paranoid and threatening but was adamant that his aggressive behaviour was aimed at her, not Luke.

She said Ms Batty told her: “Luke is not at risk, Luke is not the target of Greg’s behaviour.”

“That view was very clear and it was constant,” Dr Heath told the Victorian Coroners Court on Thursday.

The eighth day of the inquest earlier heard from social worker Tracie Portelli who said she did not interpret a comment from Ms Batty that she “feels like she is at the end” as a cry for help.

Ms Portelli took a call from Ms Batty in which she expressed her dismay at the string of court cases.

Ms Portelli’s notes from the call read “feels like she is at the end” and made a reference to Ms Batty wanting to “dive under a bus”.

But Ms Portelli, of the Department of Human Services, denied the call was a cry for help, saying Ms Batty was just venting her frustrations at the lengthy and costly court process.

Ms Portelli also interviewed Luke in mid-2013 after Ms Batty raised concerns after Anderson showed Luke a knife and told him “this could end it all”.

She said she believed Luke when he said he loved his father and did not fear him.

She also said Luke had explained he initially believed his father had threatened him with the knife but said he had mistakenly reached that conclusion after being spooked by watching a horror movie.

But under questioning from Ms Batty’s barrister Rachel Doyle SC, Ms Portelli conceded Luke had at times been in fear of his father.

The inquest has now been adjourned to continue in December.

* 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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