Steve Janceski has seen the inside of more courtrooms in the past six years than he’d care to admit.
He’s sat through a combined 18 weeks of evidence in six partial or full trials involving his son – the first two over the attempted murder of Darko in January 2012 and the last four stemming from his actual murder in April 2012.
While understandably unsatisfied with the outcome of the first two trials (both co-accused were found not guilty after separate trials), he has developed deep respect for those involved in investigating his son’s subsequent murder.
“I always thought police were ‘dogs’, like people call them,” he admits, despite never having been in trouble with the law.
“But now I can see they are looking after the public. Police don’t want to add anything [to the court case] that’s not true. I’m very, very pleased with them and I’m satisfied with what the justice system has done.”
He also heaps praised on the prosecutors who ran the trials, but says he was less than impressed with the defence lawyers and their decision to run the trials – especially those for the shooter, Matthew Wiggins – when the evidence against him was “so good”.
One of the reasons for the strong case against Wiggins was Steve’s heroic response on the day his son was gunned down. Hearing the shots from inside the house, Steve ran outside and confronted Wiggins, managing to dislodge his helmet and Prada sunglasses in the ensuing struggle.
Both items were left at the scene when Wiggins fled on a motorbike and both proved vital DNA evidence that linking him to the crime.
But Steve is humble about his actions: “I’m just like any other father. Every parent would do that”.