Appearing from the Melbourne remand center via video link, Nolan sat quietly as his lawyers told the court that they had difficulty understanding the genesis of the dispute that led to the death of Mr. Boothey – the low IQ of the accused playing an important role in their confusion.
Nolan’s intellectual disability had defined his whole life, his lawyer Marcus Dempsey said in court. From an early age, he had abused alcohol and the day he hit Mr. Boothey, Nolan had been drinking ice.
No one had visited Nolan in prison, said Dempsey.
The court heard that doctors suspected Nolan had suffered from a fetal alcohol spectrum disorder and that the severity of his intellectual disability associated with PTSD resulting from childhood trauma had characterized multiple incidents of violence during of his life.
Deputy Prosecutor Angela Moran read the statements of the victim of Mr. Boothey’s sister, Tracy Christou, who said that his brother’s adult son was so bereaved by the loss of his father that he committed suicide.
“My family suffered not only the loss of my brother-in-law … but our nephew … who unfortunately committed suicide because he could not cope with the loss of his father,” said Ms. Moran to court.
Prosecutor Mark Gibson SC stated that Nolan’s offense was compounded by the fact that he was younger than Mr. Boothey, that the victim was not acting aggressively and that she was vulnerable because of her own poisoning.
“At the end of the day here, a man was killed at four o’clock on a Monday afternoon … by an act of violence by the accused, who behaved aggressively and had just been released. “, did he declare.
Witnesses told police that after hitting Mr. Boothey, Nolan repeated several times, “I told you so” before having an alcoholic drink and going back to the square with his girlfriend.
Supreme Court Justice Lesley Taylor said the incident presented a “particularly difficult” task when Nolan was convicted and that she would reserve her decision while he remains in prison.
David Estcourt is a court reporter and generalist at The Age.