News State Victoria News Killer’s guilty plea saves family ordeal
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Killer’s guilty plea saves family ordeal

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Paul Holmes and his sister Maree were bracing themselves to face the details of how their brother, mother and stepfather had been murdered.

But as the jury was being empanelled, the accused killer Ian Francis Jamieson had a sudden change of heart.

After 18 months of denials, he pleaded guilty to the triple murder, which arose from a neighbourly dispute over dust from a dirt track in rural Victoria.

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Jamieson, 65, admitted murdering his neighbour Greg Holmes, 48, and Holmes’ elderly mother and stepfather Mary and Peter Lockhart near Wedderburn in October 2014.

Jamieson’s 11th-hour change of heart shocked the family.

“I think he’s finally stood up for what he’s done,” Paul Holmes told reporters outside the Victorian Supreme Court in Bendigo.

“We’re very relieved – there was a bit of trepidation about what we were going to see and hear.”

On October 22, 2014, police responding to a dispute between two neighbours found Mr Holmes’ body in a paddock near his home.

The officers then heard gunshots across the road.

They retreated and cordoned off the area before a lengthy negotiation ended with the gunman’s surrender.

The bodies of 75-year-old Ms Lockhart, and her husband, 78, were later found in separate locations on their property.

“It doesn’t sit at all, that someone could do something like this over a bit of dust,” Paul Holmes said.

“It doesn’t make any sense, and it will never make any sense.”

His sister Maree St Clair says she wants to remember her family by how they lived, not how they died.

“The way they died was horrible, but we’ve just got to remember their dignity,” she said.

“They were beautiful people.”

The family say they now have the opportunity to tell the court how the murders have affected them in Jamieson’s upcoming plea hearing and sentence.

“We trust that he will duly get what he deserves,” Paul Holmes said.

Other family members were not in court as they had been scheduled to appear as witnesses.

Jamieson will return to court on April 21 for a plea hearing before sentencing on April 22.

-AAP

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