The father of a man who ingested a lethal dose of GHB at gunpoint has slammed two men who admitted he was at fault in his death, calling them cowardly dogs and evil people.
The family reported him missing five weeks ago amid a dispute over his ongoing relationship with his ex-partner’s new love, Andrew Price.
Price and Jack Brown faced a pre-sentence hearing in the Supreme Court of Victoria on Friday where they pleaded guilty to manslaughter.
In mid-April, Lovison spoke to a woman named Samantha Guillerme about getting GHB.
In the remote Moondarra State Forest near Morwell in eastern Victoria, she picked him up and handed him over to heavily armed Price and Brown.
There, he ingested a lethal dose of GHB and was left alone in the forest, either asleep or unconscious.
Prosecutor Mark Rochford KC said they could not prove that Jarrad Lovison was forced to use the GHB at gunpoint, but he knew that both Price and Brown were armed and therefore his use was involuntary.
It has been argued that Price, 50, and Brown, 31, did not intend to kill Lovison but to leave him in the bushes, rendering him incapacitated and unable to return to town.
John Lovison accused the men of deliberately trying to kill his son out of Price’s intense jealousy and competition for a woman.
“You have taken from us the loveliest, most beautiful and most precious things in our lives that can never be forgiven or forgotten,” he said.
The 37-year-old dog breeder’s body tormented his family in harsh conditions.
“We weren’t even allowed to say goodbye because of what you cowardly dogs did to him,” he said, describing the two men as evil.
Price’s lawyer, Tim Marsh, described his painful statements in court as “over the odds,” but even his own client agreed they were fair and he could understand Lovison’s position.
Price told his attorney he would have the same reaction if his son was killed.
Judge Michael Croucher agreed.
“I think I would — it’s the most natural human reaction,” he said.
Lovison also slammed the justice system, which allowed both Price and Brown to be released on bail, living in the same small town as the victim’s family.
Each spent more than 600 days in custody before being released and is expected to return to prison before sentencing.
While Jarrad Lovison was given GHB in dangerous circumstances, it is not known how much of the drug he was given or how much he may have voluntarily ingested beforehand, Marsh said.
When asked about the presence of the gun, Marsh pointed out that Price had previously been beaten by Lovison and resulted in a broken arm.
“Not sure it’s my best view, but that’s part of the picture,” he said.
Earlier this year, Guillerme was sentenced to at least 15 months in prison in connection with Lovison’s death.
Price and Brown will be sentenced on June 22.
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