A Victorian man who fatally stabbed an associate amid an argument about Nazi handguns has been found not guilty of murder on the grounds of self-defence.
Jarrod Leonard Frank was charged with murdering Scott Bury in the driveway of his Bendigo home in January 2018.
In Victoria’s Supreme Court on Wednesday Justice Michael Croucher said Mr Frank had no case to answer for murder or the alternative charge of manslaughter, and discharged the jury.
“It is of course a terribly sad thing that Scott Bury is dead, but it is equally true Jarrod Frank is found not guilty if the prosecution cannot prove he did not act in self-defence,” the judge said.
“In my view this is an overwhelming case of self-defence.”
Justice Croucher said Mr Bury had “terrorised” Mr Frank in a series of “grossly violent attacks” after threatening him with two carving knives and an iron bar
He stabbed Mr Frank in the chest and struck him with the bar through his car window as he tried to flee.
Mr Bury also yelled out: “You’re really f***** now c***”.
Mr Frank left the car, the court heard, before engaging in what he thought was a “life and death struggle” with Mr Bury in the driveway for about 40 seconds.
“Neither the disparity in the injuries suffered by Mr Frank and Mr Bury, nor the nature of the fatal wound itself, nor anything else in the prosecution case, either alone or in combination, comes even close to being capable of disproving self-defence,” Justice Croucher said.
The two men had met once before. They later bumped into each other in Bendigo, and spoke about the calibre of ammunition used in Luger handguns by German officers in World War II.
Mr Bury bet Mr Frank $100 he was right because two years prior he had robbed a bank with a 9mm Luger, prosecutor Grant Hayward said.
The pair then went to Mr Bury’s home with another man to research the answer when an altercation broke out.
Mr Frank told Mr Bury “hey bitch, here you go”, the court was told.
Mr Bury armed himself before Mr Frank turned the knife back on him in the driveway struggle.
Barrister David Gibson previously said Mr Frank accepted he had caused Mr Bury’s death, but did so in self-defence.
“You can be sure that Jarrod Frank regrets the death of Scott Bury as much as anyone. But that doesn’t make it a crime,” the lawyer said.