A grieving mother has celebrated what would have been her son's 18th birthday with his childhood friends following a murder-suicide which shocked Australia.
Luke Batty was just 11 years old when he was killed by his father Greg Anderson on February 12, 2014.
The youngster was cornered by his deranged dad, who hit him over the head with a cricket bat before stabbing him to death. Anderson later died with self-inflicted stabbing and police gunshot wounds.
Luke's Batty's mother, Rosie Batty, who is a prominent anti-domestic violence advocate, counts herself fortunate after recently hosting a small gathering with her murdered son's closest mates.
Luke Batty (pictured above) was murdered by his father Greg Anderson in a frenzied attack in 2014
Domestic violence campaigner Rosie Batty (pictured above) believes what triggered the murder of her son was a case of his dad having mental health issues
Luke Batty (pictured left) was just 11 when he was brutally killed by his deranged father in a murder suicide
Despite Victoria's strict coronavirus restrictions, she was given the green light to host the event.
'We were lucky, it was just before the stage four lockdown began and we were still allowed to meet with a few people outside, and the kids that he (Luke) started prep with, and were his friends when they were all 11, they came over with some of their parents,' she told The Australian.
'They're all young men now – six-foot tall – and looking at them made me realise just how big Luke would be. 'They all said that he'd be the funny guy and I thought how much Luke would love that. He'd be so proud and chuffed because that's all he ever wanted to do – make people laugh.'
At the inquest to Luke's death in November of 2014, Ms Batty said 'no one loved Luke more than she and his father.'
'What triggered this was a case of his dad having mental health issues,' she said at the time.
'He (Anderson) was in a homelessness situation for many years, his life was failing, everything was becoming worse in his life and Luke was the only bright light in his life.'
She believes Anderson killed his own son to punish her, given he never previously verbally or physically abused him.
When Anderson brutally killed Luke, there were four warrants out for his arrest, including one related to his possession of child sex abuse images of girls aged between 10 and 14.
He was facing 11 criminal charges and there were two intervention orders out against him.
Anderson also threatened Luke’s football coach, telling him he had a 'knife with your name on it.'
Luke's mother Rosie Batty (pictured left) became a prominent domestic violence campaigner following the death of her son
Greg Anderson (pictured with his son Luke) was homeless and his 'life was failing' in the lead up to the attack which shocked Australia