A MAN who believed he was a grandson of Adolf Hitler has been jailed for 20 years after killing two men in a stabbing frenzy at Casterton.
Aaron Jamie Ball, 33, of Miller Street, pleaded guilty in the Warrnambool Supreme Court in November last year to two charges of defensive homicide and one charge of recklessly causing serious injury.
Yesterday Judge Elizabeth Curtain sentenced Ball to 20 years’ imprisonment with 17 years to serve before being eligible for parole.
Judge Curtain said three unarmed men came on to Ball’s property on the night of October 4, 2011, in a culmination of long-running friction between neighbours.
She said Warrnambool’s Toby Lynch was stabbed to the chest and later died of his injury.
Stephen Mark, who told Ball he didn’t want to fight, was stabbed three times but survived his wounds.
Ball then launched a frenzied attack on Ray McCombe, stabbing him 34 times from behind and while he was on the ground.
Ball, his mother and sister, who all shared paranoid delusions — including Ball’s Adolf Hitler obsession — then fled Casterton and drove to Mount Gambier, where Ball was arrested.
Judge Curtain said Ball’s lack of remorse and insight was most likely a result of a mental illness, described as paranoid schizophrenia or a delusional disorder.
That illness resulted in Ball receiving a significant discount in sentencing.
But the judge said Ball had produced a knife and stabbed three unarmed men, killing two and seriously injuring the other.
The judge said that in the lead-up to the stabbing both Ball and his mother made inappropriate comments to a girl about the death of her mother along the lines of “go kill yourself like your mum”.
Ball had previously been jailed for attacking a 17-year-old girl with a knife in Geelong and driving a car at a group of youths.
Judge Curtain said the events of the night of the stabbing were clearly “dynamic, fluid and highly charged” and the victims had both been drinking and taking methamphetamine.
Ball grew up in Hamilton and Warrnambool and left school in year 8 after being bullied. He has an IQ of 77 but is not classed as intellectually disabled.
He has already served 932 days in custody.