10 June 2022

Killer Danny Klobucar accused of similar 'vigilante' attack on perceived paedophile

| Albert McKnight
Law courts

Danny Klobucar, 33, has been refused bail after allegedly choking a man in south Canberra. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

A killer who bashed a man to death almost 10 years ago has had his bail refused after he was charged with what was alleged to be a similar, vigilante-style attack.

Danny Klobucar faced a jury trial in 2016 charged with murdering the 71-year-old grandfather, Miodrag Gajic, but was found not guilty by reason of mental impairment.

Mr Gajic died at home in Woden on the morning of 1 January 2014. He was killed by blunt force trauma to the head and ACT Supreme Court Justice Hilary Penfold said the jury must have been satisfied that Klobucar was the killer.

But Klobucar, aged 25 at the time of the killing, had likely been suffering a psychotic episode from paranoid schizophrenia which included delusional beliefs about paedophiles.

There had been evidence he had an irrational belief that Mr Gajic was a paedophile.

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The 33-year-old Wanniassa man appeared over audio-visual link in the ACT Magistrates Court on Thursday (9 June) charged with possessing a drug of dependence and choking a person. He applied to be granted bail.

The court heard that on 30 May 2022 Klobucar had gone to a man’s home in the south Canberra suburb of Conder where he allegedly attacked him. He was also allegedly found to have a “large amount of drugs”.

The prosecutor said this was similar to what happened to Mr Gajic because he allegedly carried out the “brutal attack” in May under the belief this new complainant was a paedophile.

He alleged Klobucar had gone into the home and carried out “retribution” for perceived child abuse crimes by choking the complainant.

The prosecutor said bail conditions would be unable to protect the people he came into contact with saying “his history suggests he will respond with violence”.

But Jacob Robertson of JDR Law argued there were “two entirely different scenarios” between the killing of Mr Gajic and these new allegations, partly as in the latter case, he had been invited into the complainant’s house.

Also, he said drugs were not found in Klobucar’s vehicle but in a vehicle used for work by one of his relatives.

He said his client will enter not guilty pleas. A witness – Klobucar’s mother – had given an entirely different account to what had been alleged, and work was available for his client as a landscaper if he was released from custody.

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While Magistrate James Stewart noted there were two competing versions of the facts of the case, he said, “no matter where the truth lies, there is an element of vigilantism in these allegations”, which was something that had to be put into the context of Klobucar’s criminal history.

He said Klobucar had gone into the home of Mr Gajic out of his belief he was a paedophile and Mr Gajic had died, so how it was that he was invited inside to deal with a similar allegation in this fresh case was “illogical”.

Magistrate Stewart said Klobucar had serious and long-standing mental health issues and access to large amounts of methylamphetamine. Also, as he was on a good behaviour order at the time of the fresh allegations, he questioned what good bail conditions would be.

“In my view, there is an extreme risk of reoffending if he is released on bail,” he said.

Bail was refused. The matter was adjourned to 26 July for a pre-hearing mention.

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