Castlemaine tradie, Glenn Stratton, was charged with murder in May 2021 after pulling the trigger to end his father’s life. This was not an act of hate however, rather an act of “love and respect” as put by Supreme Court Justice Hollingworth.
Stratton’s father, Colin Stratton was suffering from chronic cancer. He had attended numerous doctors, begging them to euthanise him under Victoria’s voluntary assisted dying program. On 24 May 2021, he asked his GP for a suicide pill, but was told that it would take at least two weeks to process the paperwork. He then turned to his family for help.
The father called his son, asking him to grab the rifle that had been sitting in his shed, unused, since his 14th birthday. Stratton did not want to assist, but his father said it was going to happen that day with or without his help. The father tried to point the rifle to his head himself, but was unable to pull the trigger. He then placed the end of the rifle in the hands of Stratton, with the barrel sitting on his forehead, asking for a final favour.
Stratton was arrested and charged with murder. He spent 46 days remanded in custody, unable to attend his father’s funeral. The charge was replaced with aiding and abetting suicide, to which Stratton pleaded guilty.
He was sentenced on 9 December 2021 before the Supreme Court.
Justice Hollingworth said, “The psychological pressure on you must have been enormous.” She described Stratton’s actions in helping his father achieve his wish as “loving, courageous and selfless”.
Her Honour found sentencing him to imprisonment would not benefit him or society. She convicted Stratton and released him on an adjourned undertaking for a period of two years.
Within her reasoning, she said “You finally pulled the trigger spontaneously out of love and respect for his wishes.”
This means he will not go to prison and will remain on strict orders to not commit any further offences, be on good behaviour and will have to undertake counselling and treatment for substance abuse problems.