‘Stupidity': Gumtree killer Tony Panagiotou lashed in court

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A man who gunned down a Melbourne dad over a dispute about DJ equipment being sold on Gumtree was lashed for his “tragic stupidity” which led to the fatal shooting.

Tony Panagiotou was jailed for nine years after he pleaded guilty to the manslaughter of 46-year-old Duane Hutchings in the Supreme Court of Victoria on Friday.

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After the sentence family members of the victim said they were disappointed with the sentence.

The 59-year-old shot Mr Hutchings with a shotgun at an Oakleigh East property on February 9, 2019 after going there to confront a woman about the equipment she was allegedly selling on Gumtree.

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‘Stupidity’: Gumtree killer Tony Panagiotou lashed in court

Camera IconJohn Panagiotou and his father Tony, 59, alleged raided an Oakleigh East home in 2019. Credit: Supplied

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The former nightclub owner stormed the property with a group of men including his two sons, George and John, in a bid to get the expensive equipment back.

The woman used fake identification and hired the DJ gear before she allegedly tried to sell it on popular online marketplace Gumtree.

But the group attacked father-of-six Mr Hutchings, who was not involved in the alleged scheme and was visiting his female friend.

He was bashed with batons before Mr Panagiotou fired the fatal shot.

The terrified woman was told to wait five minutes before calling an ambulance as the home invaders fled the scene.

‘Stupidity’: Gumtree killer Tony Panagiotou lashed in court

Camera IconRelatives of the victim leave the court and were not happy with the sentence. NCA NewsWire / David Crosling Credit: News Corp Australia

In the lead up to the shocking crime George and John Panagiotou woke their father and told him they were going to try and retrieve the gear.

The father-of-four should have tried to dissuade his sons from going through with the plan instead of going with them, Justice Lex Lasry said in his sentencing remarks.

“Your actions made the catastrophe which occurred inevitable,” Justice Lex Lasry said in his sentencing remarks.

He accepted Panagiotou was remorseful, could be rehabilitated and his mental health was impacted after he went through a home invasion in 2006.

The man’s defence lawyer said the shooting was not intentional.

“This incident will underline for you the tragic stupidity of what you have done, and that it is not be repeated,” Justice Lasry said.

The court was previously told the men went to the police over the equipment but were incorrectly told they weren’t able to help because it was a civil matter.

‘Stupidity’: Gumtree killer Tony Panagiotou lashed in court

Camera IconFather of six Duane Hutchings was shot dead in a Clayton Rd home in Oakleigh East in February 2019. Credit: Supplied

An interview with police officers following Mr Panagiotou’s arrest was aired during the pre-sentence hearing, where the Melbourne father could be heard sobbing heavily.

“I took a man’s life, I’m not a good person. Look what I’ve done, I don’t deserve to live,” Mr Panagiotou told officers between sobs.

Panagiotou must spend six years behind bars before he is eligible for parole, and has spent more than three years in custody.

His son John received a three year community corrections order and George was ordered to spend two years and three months behind bars for their role in the home invasion.

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