Inventor's killer pleads not guilty to murder

John Foss, AKA Giacomo Fosscati, of Ocean Shores with his hand-made motorised bicycles.
John Foss, AKA Giacomo Fosscati, of Ocean Shores with his hand-made motorised bicycles. MIREILLE MERLET-SHAW

THE man who killed popular Ocean Shores inventor John Foss has pleaded not guilty to his murder, despite admitting he deliberately ran Mr Foss down near Mullumbimby.

James Andrew Mitchell, 54, admitted he deliberately ran down Mr Foss, 60, by driving his van into the inventor's motorised bicycle as he cycled along Coolamon Scenic Drive on January 3.

Mitchell fled the scene but a passing surf life saver stopped to offer first aid until paramedics arrived. Mr Foss passed away a short time later at Mullumbimby Hospital.

At the time of Mitchell's arrest, police said they understood he and Mr Foss had known each other and that "there was some animosity between them".

The Supreme Court in Sydney today heard Mitchell intended to harm Mr Foss when he ran him down.

However, Mitchell's Lismore-based barrister, Chris Bruce, told Justice Elizabeth Fullerton his client was pleading guilty on grounds of mental illness.

The Crown accepted Mitchell was suffering a mental illness when he killed Mr Foss

Justice Fullerton is expected to hand down her judgement on Wednesday.

Mr Foss was perhaps best known on the Northern Rivers for his customised "Fosscatis" - the name he gave his motorised bikes, which he championed with a fictional character, Giacomo Fosscati.

Topics:  inventor, john foss, murder, nsw supreme court



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