Amon Jed Waddell will be sentenced over his father’s death.
Amon Jed Waddell will be sentenced over his father’s death.

Mum’s message for child who killed family patriarch

"I LOVE you Amon, I love you mate."

Jane Waddell and supporters called out to her son Amon as the final chapter of a family tragedy played out in Cairns Supreme Court yesterday.

Amon Jed Waddell, who punched and strangled his father to death in a family "catastrophe" last year, pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of his dad, Phillip Waddell.

Justice Jim Henry will sentence Waddell at 2pm today.

"It is a catastrophe," Justice Henry said.

The court heard that simmering tension between Waddell, then 25, and his father boiled over into a physical confrontation at their family home on March 27 last year.

The two men had exchanged heated words earlier that day at the Feluga Hotel.

"The two were not seeing eye-to-eye at the time," crown prosecutor Nathan Crane said.

"(Phillip said) 'If you don't like it, you can move out'."

The confrontation continued at their Maadi property and degenerated into a scuffle in an enclosed patio.

Jane Waddell (left) and Phillip Waddell (right).
Jane Waddell (left) and Phillip Waddell (right).

"Phillip had Amon by the throat and was the aggressor initially," Mr Crane said.

"Amon had his hands on the throat of Phillip … (and) was using a pushing motion on the neck."

The defendant's mother, Jane, separated the two and left the room, but on her return, saw her son standing over his motionless father.

The defendant punched Mr Waddell three or four times in the temple.

Jane Waddell, mother of Amon Waddell convicted of the 2018 manslaughter of his father, leaves a Cairns court on Thursday. Picture: PETER CARRUTHERS
Jane Waddell, mother of Amon Waddell convicted of the 2018 manslaughter of his father, leaves a Cairns court on Thursday. Picture: PETER CARRUTHERS

"(Amon said) 'I want to kill him, we'll all be happy without him. He is always drunk when he comes home. You don't know what it is like.'"

Forensic pathologist Phillip Botterill later concluded Mr Waddell's death was caused by neck compression, blunt force trauma and intoxication.

The distraught son would try to stab himself with a kitchen knife, exclaiming "I can't live without my Dad, I'll never be able to speak with him again".

Mr Crane told the court Mr Waddell's demeanour had changed since he injured his shoulder in a workplace accident in the months leading to the incident.

"He had started drinking more … his communication with his family was heading downhill," Mr Crane said.

The bickering between father and son was punctuated by Waddell's threats to kill the older man.

Justice Henry has remanded Waddell into custody.

 


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