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By Brad Lester
COUNCILS could be recommended to
improve the safety of staff after a man
was sentenced to jail for the attempted
murder of two South Gippsland Shire
Council staff last week.
Jonas Black of Turtons Creek was sentenced
to 11 years and six months’ imprisonment in the
Supreme Court in Melbourne on October 24 for
the attempted murder of council officers Justin
Eades and Matthew Patterson.
The state’s peak local government body, the
Municipal Association of Victoria, would review
the court findings and may make recommenda-
tions to councils to consider the risks of entering
potentially dangerous environments.
MAV chief executive officer Rob Spence said,
“This will stay with the officers involved forever.
It was such a scary incident and like something
you’d see in a movie.
“We know that in a lot of incidences where
there is a risk to council staff they will work in
pairs, as the staff did in South Gippsland.
“The council officers were just doing their job
and the law is the law, and when it ends up in situ-
ation like this one, it is extraordinary.”
Mr Black received eight years’ imprisonment
on each charge, as well three months’ jail for at-
tempting to pervert the course of public justice.
He will serve concurrent sentences, which re-
duced his overall term of imprisonment, as hav-
ing served 518 days of pre-sentence detention.
Mr Black was found guilty of attempted mur-
der at the Supreme Court on June 24.
His charges relate to an altercation on his
property where he attacked council’s manager
regulatory services Mr Patterson and local laws
officer Mr Eades on May 25, 2015.
The council officers were inspecting the prop-
erty after Mr Black failed to comply with coun-
cil’s request to demolish unpermitted buildings
on his land.
Mr Black attacked Mr Eades, then Mr Patter-
son, with a piece of scaffolding pipe before threat-
ening to kill them when they ran from the scene.
Mr Patterson sustained lacerations to his head
while Mr Eades sustained more substantial dam-
age to his skull, which included concussion.
Mr Black was found guilty of the attacks in
which he was believed to have intended to kill
both council workers.
His other charges, for perverting the court of
justice, relate to his attempts to dispose of his
work boots during the investigation.
Mr Black made a number of calls to his girl-
friend while in custody last year, during which he
asked her to dispose of his work boots while she
was on a trip in Melbourne.
It is believed Mr Black may have worn the
boots while he dug a large hole near his property
before the attack.
Jurors came to the conclusion Mr Black had
presumably intended to use the hole as a grave
for the victims.
In June this year, Mr Patterson told the jury at
the Latrobe Valley Magistrates’ Court he saw Mr
Eades being hit in the back of the head with the
pipe before Mr Black turned on him.
“I was in shock. I tried to get away from the
initial swings of the object from Mr Black,” he
“After I got hit in the ribs, shortly after that,
I felt an arm around my neck from behind and I
suppose Jonas was either trying to choke me or
crush my neck.
“At that moment I was, I think, in shock,
dazed. I just could not believe what I had been
Mr Eades sustained head injuries from the as-
sault and has since quit his job as an enforcement
officer at the shire.
“I was hit in the back of the head with what
I believe to be a scaffolding pipe,” he said of the
alleged attack in the Latrobe Valley court.
“I didn’t lose consciousness fully, but I
blacked out enough to drop down to one knee.”
Both Mr Eades and Mr Patterson escaped Mr
Black’s attack and ran from the property.
“I thought ‘Well, this is serious’, you know,
‘this is life and death’,” Mr Patterson told the
court in June.
“(Jonas said) You can’t get away. I’ve got
shoot you both.”
Upon further investigation, police found a
hole dug at a campsite attended by Mr Black on
the weekend prior to the attack. It is believed
Mr Black dug the hole as a grave for the council
Council did not wish to comment.
Jonas Black jailed over attempted murders
TEENAGERS across South
Gippsland have their heads
in books as they plough
through VCE exams.
Students began their end of
school tests last Wednesday with
the VCE English exam.
The examination period will
continue until November 16.
Leongatha Secondary College
student Lisa Clarke said teachers
had prepared students well for the
exam, just minutes after she left
the test at Mesley Hall.
Her friend Evy Nye said, “It
was stressful but I feel like I did
Another friend Chloe Macri
added, “It was one of the exams I
was most nervous about but that’s
Year 12 coordinator David
McGillivray said LSC students
had enjoyed a successful year.
“They have been supporting
each other all year and work well
as a group,” he said.
The Department of Education
has partnered with youth mental
health organisation headspace to
create resources to support stu-
dents during their VCE exams.
The website includes tips on
managing exams and study stress
• preparing a well-balanced
study plan and goals;
• taking time out for activities
that bring stress levels down, such
• establishing a routine around
meals so you don’t get hungry be-
fore or while studying;
• relaxing before bed time to
slow the brain activity down; and
• asking for help from teach-
ers, family, or friends and seeking
professional help if the stress is too
There’s more information
available at http://headspace.org.
Teens tick off exams
Job done: from left, Leongatha Secondary College students Lisa
Clark, Evy Nye and Chloe Macri were delighted with their VCE
English exam outside Mesley Hall last Wednesday.
POLICE are searching for a car stolen
from a driveway in Korumburra on Fri-
The owners left their home in King Street for
half an hour and returned home to find the black
Holden Commodore gone.
Police believe the offender entered the house
through a front window, found the car keys and
took the vehicle from the driveway.
The VE 2005 model Commodore has the reg-
istration plate TPN 593.
A WOMAN was taken to hospital after
crashing her car at Nyora on Friday.
The driver, in her thirties, ran off Yannathan
Road and careered into a tree about 6am.
She struck the windscreen and injured her
head. She was taken to Casey Hospital at Berwick
for observation and released.
Korumburra Police said alcohol was not in-
volved and are investigating the matter further.
Lock homes, cars
POLICE are pleading with the public to
lock their houses and cars to reduce the
risk of theft after a spate of such inci-
dences across the region.
Acting Senior Sergeant Andy O’Brien said
73 percent of all vehicles burgled had been un-
He urged people not to leave valuables in their
vehicles to avoid enticing thieves.
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