News

Couple guilty of attempted murder

A MAN and woman have been found guilty of trying to murder a man they had lured to a Brisbane apartment with the promise of drugs and sex before they fled to northern NSW.

Neil Alan Simpson and Toni Maree Prestidge will be sentenced on Friday morning for bashing Patrick Francis Fein in a Stafford apartment, fracturing his face with a baton, cutting his throat and stabbing him four times.

Fein had managed to escape, with blood spurting from him, to find traffic controllers who called authorities.

A jury returned a guilty verdict for attempted murder on the sixth day of a trial in Brisbane Supreme Court.

The jury had heard Prestidge, 48, lured Fein to her apartment with the promise of drugs and sex but had plans to harm him on January 18 last year.

Prestidge sent a series of text messages to Fein telling him how much she needed him, that Simpson was holding her hostage and she wanted him to fulfil her fantasies, including offering a threesome.

The Crown set out to prove Simpson and Prestidge had caught a taxi to get away from the bloody scene they left behind and then fled to Tweed Heads.

They then moved to Kingscliff, Pottsville and Byron Bay, buying camping gear to survive while on the run with Prestidge's son.

Simpson, who was arrested in a Byron Bay sandwich shop on January 25, denied he was at the apartment during the assault.

He claimed he returned to the unit, saw the mess and left again, later running into Prestidge at Toombul when they decided to go to NSW.

Prestidge, who turned herself into Tweed Heads police station the next day, claimed Simpson was "a hitman that had been brought in to kill her and her child".

The pair had been separated by a correctional officer during the trial because Prestidge said she feared for her safety.

Topics:  attempted murder, stafford, tweed heads



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