When Malcolm Boyce is asked whether he has any children, he struggles to answer the question.
- Mark Boyce was murdered outside his Elizabeth South home in January 2017
- He was bashed by three Hells Angels bikies who were looking for his friend
- His murderer Joshua Roy Grant is awaiting sentencing
“Social events and encounters are very difficult for me — sometimes people ask if I have children and I’m not able to answer,” he told the South Australian Supreme Court today.
“I often change the subject or just break down.”
Mr Boyce’s 36-year-old son Mark was murdered outside his Elizabeth South home in January 2017.
The court was told Mr Boyce was in “the wrong place at the wrong time” and was bashed by three Hells Angels bikies who had been looking for someone else.
In June, a jury found Joshua Roy Grant, 27, guilty of Mark Boyce’s murder.
He will be sentenced later this month.
Carrying a photo of his son, Malcolm Boyce told Justice Tim Stanley: “Today, I have brought Mark into the courts — it’s all I have left of him, other than memories.”
He said before his son was murdered, he was happy, lived a stress-free life and planned to work until he was 70.
“I used to love spending time with Mark … I used to enjoy joking around and hear Mark joke around too,” he said.
“I used to get told by everyone that they could tell Mark was my son because he looked similar to me.
“I have come to terms with never being a grandparent, as he was my only child. And I know Mark wanted to have children, he loved kids.”
Mr Boyce said the murder had left him feeling “shocked”, “angry” and with a “strong sense of disbelief”.
Victim’s mother watched her son die in hospital
The victim’s mother told the court about her immense grief and how hard it was to say goodbye.
“The phone call came to me on February 1 — my only son Mark had been beaten and was in the ICU (intensive care unit), Adelaide hospital. He was not responding,” she said in her victim impact statement.
“I was six hours of flight time away from Mark — six hours of indescribable fear that Mark might die before I saw him.”
She said she tried to will him to wake up, and would often sing to him if they were alone in the ICU.
“But no change,” she said.
“Family meetings, organ donation, forensics, countless visitors.
“Mark and I were always on the same page about quality of life: ‘Mum, I don’t want to be any less than myself’.
“We have to let him go. He’s transferred from ICU to neurology palliative care — he’s 36 years young.
“The breathing tube is removed and I watch my son die.”
She said ever since her son was murdered, she had been “faking my way through the trauma”.
Marie Shaw QC, for Grant, told the court that her client had expressed “genuine sorrow” for his victim and his family.
She said Grant lost his older sister when he was 15 years old and understood the grief of losing a loved one.
Grant has appealed the jury’s verdict in the Court of Criminal Appeal.
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