A man accused of killing his autistic little brother and stabbing his mother in the neck was hesitant to appear in court in case family members were in the public gallery, a court has heard.
Shaun Sanderson, 32, allegedly killed his younger brother Rileigh, 29, and badly injured his mother Catherine, 65, in an attack at their family home in the northern Melbourne suburb of Reservoir on Wednesday.
Emergency services were called just after 8am after Catherine was allegedly found seriously injured at the home and Rileigh with fatal stab wounds at a nearby hospital.
Authorities launched a manhunt to find Sanderson who had allegedly fled the property. He was tracked down near a busy intersection in the nearby suburb of Preston about 2.40pm and arrested.
Rileigh Sanderson (left) and Shaun Sanderson (right) are pictured alongside their siblings
Catherine was rushed from the house to Royal Melbourne Hospital in a serious condition, with severe injuries to her upper body, including stab wounds on her neck.
Rileigh has been hailed a hero after he was allegedly stabbed at the home before running to Resevoir Private Hospital to get help. He was treated by paramedics in the carpark but could not be saved.
Sanderson reluctantly appeared in the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on Thursday after initially refusing to leave the prison cells beneath the court building.
The court heard Sanderson had not wanted to appear before media or family members – none of whom were physically present within the courtroom.
The court heard Sanderson has been charged with a count each of murder and attempted murder.
He did not apply for bail and was remanded in custody to appear in court again in July to allow prosecutors an extended six-week period to compile the brief of evidence.
Before being taken back down to the cells, Sanderson’s lawyer advised the court his client had a history of mental health issues.
‘While he’s not withdrawing from a drug of dependence, I think it’s prudent he be attended to by a custody nurse,’ he said.
‘There appears to be a history of psychosis and a diagnosis of schizophrenia. He also has some scratches and cuts on his nose and face.’
Rileigh pictured next to Big Brother celebrity Farmer Dave at an event late last year
A local resident told Daily Mail Australia that Rileigh, who lived with autism, was ‘such a lovely boy’.
Photos shared on his Catherine’s Instagram page show her and Rileigh spending quality time together – purchasing hot chocolates, getting their nails done and travelling overseas.
In one of her last post, she shared a photo of Rileigh grinning as he posed along Big Brother celebrity Farmer Dave.
‘Rileigh was stoked to meet Farmer Dave today at the dog show,’ Catherine wrote in October.
‘Thanks for taking the time to have a photo.’
Tributes have started pouring in online for Rileigh, who has been remembered as a ‘beautiful’ person.
‘Fly high R,’ one woman wrote.
‘So sad we can’t talk about the Richmond Tigers soon.’
Another said: ‘Rest in peace beautiful man . I will miss you.’
Shaun Sanderson (pictured) was arrested about 2.30pm on Wednesday after allegedly stabbing his mother and brother
Police are pictured arresting Shaun Sanderson who is accused of fatally stabbing his brother and seriously injuring his mother at a Reservoir home in Melbourne
Sanderson has been charged with murder and attempted murder
Arriving at the home, police initially believed Sanderson was bunkered down inside and they set up a perimeter to try and negotiate with him.
However, they soon realised he wasn’t there after storming inside.
Aerial footage showed Sanderson lying in the middle of an intersection with his arms behind his back, surrounded by police.
Earlier, a team of heavily armed police tried to negotiate with Sanderson, demanding through a megaphone that he come outside, before realising he was not home.
Pam Egan, a resident of Willoughby Street, told Daily Mail Australia the family has three sons and a daughter.
‘I’ve spoken to (the family) before going on walks,’ she said.
‘They are a hardworking family …. They’re builders, lovely and always friendly.’
Other neighbour said the street is normally ‘quiet and nice’.
‘We heard the sirens this morning, my neighbour said it happened in the (hospital) car park,’ one woman said.
Detectives were seen gathering outside the Willoughby St scene on Wednesday
A group of police officers are pictured talking in the street after the home was declared a crime scene