A 21-year-old Australian of Filipino origin, accused of killing his parents and sister could have been a battered child, a Filipino diplomat in Australia said recently. In an interview with a local radio station, the Filipino Consul General Libran Cabactulan said he has received reports that Australian-Filipino Sef Gonzales might have been a battered child.

Reports have been circulating that revenge prompted the 21-year-old Sef to slaughter his father Teodoro, 46; mother Loiva, 43; and sister Clodine, 18 with a knife inside their home in Sydney on July 10 last year. The Australian investigators have remained silent on the possible motives of the murders, which were so gruesome that they were earlier thought to have been a racial-hate crime.

Cabactulan said the police could be keeping their evidence against Gonzales in preparation for the trial that would start with Sef's arraignment on June 25. Sef pleaded not guilty when he appeared briefly at the Hornsby local court following his arrest on Thursday, in his house, in Chatswood, Sydney.

Sef's lawyer, Peter Kincominas told the court the police evidence was circumstantial and his client had an alibi for a significant part of the evening of the murders. According to Cabactulan the police said they have an 'airtight case' against Sef, who is now detained at the long Bay Remand Centre in Sydney.