An elderly Melbourne man fatally stabbed his neighbour because he believed he had been tampering with his car.
David John Rathbone, 76, has been jailed for seven years after pleading guilty to the manslaughter of his 71-year-old neighbour.
Rathbone used a large carving knife to stab his neighbour on the front porch of his Department of Human Services unit in Williamstown.
Victorian Supreme Court Justice Paul Coghlan said Rathbone told a psychologist there was a group of people in the unit who didn’t like him.
“Mr Rathbone felt the victim had been tampering with his car … and had put water under the bonnet,” Justice Coghlan said on Wednesday.
Justice Coghlan said there was no evidence the victim had done anything wrong to Rathbone.
“Your grievances were more of perception than of fact,” he said.
Rathbone stabbed his neighbour on the afternoon of April 2, 2013, in what he later described as a “spur of the moment” attack that he could not explain.
“Your crime is a serious one, and it’s led to the death of a wholly innocent man,” Justice Coghlan said.
“Your crime, which was unprovoked, was carried out with an element of surprise.
“Although apparently not premeditated, there was some planning in that you took the knife with you.”
Justice Coghlan said Rathbone’s alcoholism had affected his decision-making, but alcohol was not a factor in the stabbing.
“The excessive use of alcohol has been a blight on your life and appears to have led to your social isolation,” he said.
Rathbone was sentenced to seven years in jail, with a five year non-parole period.
He has already served 13 months in prison.