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Victorian father facing manslaughter trial after citizen’s arrest turned deadly

Warning: This story contains the name and images of a deceased Indigenous person.

A father will stand trial for manslaughter after allegedly using a cricket bat to beat a man trying to steal $15 from a fish and chip shop charity tin.

Indigenous artist Sheldon Broderick died in hospital four days after the confrontation with Jake Mouat, 32, outside Rays Fish and Chip Shop at Corio, in Geelong’s north, on June 20 last year.

Sheldon Broderick died days after Jake Mouat allegedly attacked him with a bat outside a fish and chip shop in Corio.

Geelong Magistrates’ Court heard Broderick, 48, had smashed his way into the takeaway store, took the charity tin and was trying to leave the scene when stopped by Mouat.

Mouat, who lived nearby, told the court he was acting in “self defence” and did not intend to inflict fatal injuries on the Norlane artist during their altercation.

First Constable Sandra Lau told the court she was called to the scene after receiving reports of a suspected burglary, about 5am.

When she arrived, she said she found Mouat holding a cricket bat but found him calm, very cooperative and said he appeared to be a “good samaritan”.

Victim Sheldon Broderick.

“In my opinion, at least at the time, he was a good samaritan,” Lau said.

Nearby, another officer said they soon noticed Broderick laying half in and half outside the smashed store window as if crouched over.

The court heard an examination of the crime scene later uncovered Broderick’s fingerprints on a knife believed to have come from inside the store. A syringe and bag of white powder were also found in his bumbag.

An autopsy found traces of cannabis and methamphetamine in Broderick’s system.

Following his death, further police investigations revealed Broderick was also linked to two other burglaries – one in a library and another at a daycare centre – around the same time of the incident.

Defence barrister Paul Stefanovic said police did not treat Mouat like an offender at the time of the altercation. He described the general feeling at the scene that Broderick was the burglar and Mouat a victim who had been “apprehended” by Broderick with force.

Mouat later told police Broderick appeared to be waving a knife “blindly” around as he came out of the broken front window of the store.

The victim’s friend, Paul Duggan, said he did not know his friend to be aggressive, even when using drugs, and revealed he’d visited his home the night before the burglary.

Mouat, who is on bail, was arrested and charged more than a week after the death.

On Thursday, Magistrate Simon Guthrie committed the 32-year-old to stand trial in the Supreme Court on a single charge of manslaughter.

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