Vic man jailed for trying to kill dead man

By Genevieve Gannon
AAP
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Vic man jailed for shooting corpse

A Victorian man has been jailed for attempted murder after he shot a man who was already dead.

A Melbourne man who tried to murder a corpse thinking he was putting him out of his misery has been jailed for eight years.

Daniel Darrington, 39, told a psychologist he was acting like a robot after a gun he was fighting over discharged into Rocky Matskassy's head in 2014.

Mr Matskassy started to twitch, then Darrington shot him again, twice, claiming he wanted to put him out of his misery.

"I was like a robot," Darrington told a psychologist.

"He was twitching. I felt sorry for him. So I shot him, twice. I wish it had never happened."

A Victorian Supreme Court jury last year found the father of one guilty of attempted murder over the March 2014 shooting.

In sentencing Darrington on Monday, Justice Paul Coghlan said the jury wasn't satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that Mr Matskassy, 31, was alive after the first shot was fired.

Darrington could not be held legally responsible for the first bullet, he said, but the fact he shot him a second, then third time, showed his determination to ensure Mr Matskassy was dead.

The trial had heard that on the night of the shooting Darrington had argued with Mr Matskassy at an associate's house in Melton South, punching and kicking him until his head bled.

He told Mr Matskassy to go to the bathroom and clean himself up.

When Mr Matskassy returned he was carrying a firearm.

The pair struggled and Mr Matskassy was killed.

"I shot him to stop him suffering," Darrington claimed to police.

Justice Coghlan said the truth of what happened would never be known.

"There is an air of unreality about the case," he said.

Both the Crown and defence told Darrington's plea hearing they could not think of another case like it.

Justice Coghlan said the unusual circumstances of the case made the task of sentencing a difficult one.

He assessed Darrington's prospects for rehabilitation as "limited" and jailed him for eight years with a non-parole period of five.