Vic man killed a roommate in a fit of rage | Liverpool City Champion


Four years after pouring out uncontrollable anger on his roommate, Troy Burns was jailed for killing the man.

Donald Brandenburg, 65, suffered at least 10 separate blows to the head and chest, dealt by Burns in August 2017.

The pair were roommates, sharing a one-bedroom apartment in the Melbourne suburb of Ashwood, sometimes with a woman who was Burns’ girlfriend and Mr Brandenburg’s former flame.

Four years ago, on August 3, Burns was heard yelling at Mr. Brandenburg, accusing him of being a “lazy bastard” because he hadn’t done any shopping.

A neighbor came to his house and said Burns was bloated, as if he was experiencing an adrenaline rush.

It was about three o’clock. Between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. that day, Mr. Brandenburg was killed.

Burns, now 49, was jailed for eight and a half years on Tuesday. With the time served, he will be eligible for parole in two years.

Supreme Court Justice Stephen Kaye said the assault on Mr Brandenburg was brutal and sustained but not premeditated. Burns pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

“Your violent attack on Mr. Brandenburg is the product of an uncontrollable anger you inflicted on him,” he said.

After the attack, Burns gave inconsistent accounts to a number of people about what had happened.

Witnesses have said in previous court hearings that Burns claimed Mr Brandenburg had threatened him and a woman with a knife.

Judge Kaye said Mr Brandenburg was described as a gentle and passive person and that it was “highly unlikely” that he made any armed threats, adding that Burns also had no defensive wounds.

He said it could not be ignored that Burns had suffered from a persistent and fairly severe psychiatric illness for over 20 years.

Burns was diagnosed with schizophrenia and spent periods in mental hospitals after hallucinations.

In addition to medication, burns have been treated with electroshock therapy in the past.

But he stopped receiving treatment in the months leading up to Mr Brandenburg’s murder, telling doctors he felt too paranoid to leave his home.

Judge Kaye said he was convinced that due to Burns’ long-standing psychiatric illness and reduced intellectual function, he did not have the same ability as an ordinary person to think calmly and rationally and to contain their anger appropriately.

Since receiving treatment at Thomas Embling Hospital, Burns’ condition has stabilized.

Judge Kaye said it would be up to experts to determine when he could be released and allowed to begin rehabilitation so he can safely return to society.

Associated Australian Press

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