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September 20, 2004

Blind man jailed for killing deaf

From: Hindustan Times, India - Sep 20, 2004

Brisbane, Australia, September 20

A blind man was jailed for eight years by an Australian court on Monday for slashing a deaf man's throat because he was so enraged by the noise from his stereo and television.

George Gerard Geoldner, 49, pleaded guilty at the Brisbane Supreme Court to the manslaughter of Francis John Butcher, 54. Butcher was killed on January 4, 2002, the court heard.

Both men lived at a centre for the blind in the south of the Queensland state capital.

Prosecutor Michael Byrne said Goeldner had made numerous complaints about the noise from tcher's unit. Butcher, who had worked for decades as a charity collector, had been given headphones but was not using them because they were uncomfortable in the hot weather.

Goeldner snapped when he heard Butcher telling staff he would be having a good weekend, which meant he would be making a lot of noise, the court heard.

He rushed out with a serrated kitchen knife and put it to the throat of Butcher, who had a prosthetic limb and used crutches. Goeldner claimed Butcher's throat was accidentally slashed after the deaf man slipped from his grasp.

The court heard that Goeldner had suffered brain damage, depression and had inadequate medication for his epilepsy.

© HT Media Ltd. 2004.