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Murder victim's grisly wounds revealed in court

46 year old Murwillumbah resident Michael Martin was killed on Friday the 13th.
46 year old Murwillumbah resident Michael Martin was killed on Friday the 13th. Blainey Woodham

BRUTAL injuries suffered by alleged murder victim Michael Anthony Martin have been described in detail to a jury in the Lismore Supreme Court murder trial of his son, Michael Phillip Martin.

The night he died Martin snr suffered more than 10 grisly wounds, including a 15cm slice across his throat, a 17cm cut from his chin to shoulder, and a hacking cut where some of the shoulder bone had been sliced off.

The alleged fatal wound was a 3cm deep stabbing injury which penetrated the 46-year-old's heart.

The slicing and stabbing injuries were consistent with the use of a samurai sword - which Crown Prosecutor Mr Campbell said the murder accused was trained in.

The grisly incident played out in Martin snr's South Murwillumbah unit in the early morning of Friday June 13, 2014.

Michael jnr, who was staying there that night, told police he was woken by a whack to the forehead after 3am and dragged into the kitchen, where he was bound and gagged with cloth tape, and told "shut up or you die".

He told of hearing a "gurgling sound" of what he believed was his father having his throat cut.

Some two hours later he claims to have managed to roll down the exterior stairs of the unit to raise the alarm.

But Mr Campbell said Martin's relatively minor injuries were inconsistent with his version of events.

He also told the jury that the cloth tape supposedly used to bind him was purchased from Bunnings the day before - by Martin jnr himself.

The jury also heard evidence about an important "reconnection" between Michael Martin snr and his estranged son and young family at Murwillumbah's Courthouse Hotel.

The Sunday lunch took place on April 6 - the day before the first alleged attempt on Martin snr's life.

Murwillumbah woman Kerryn Fuller, who knew the deceased affectionately as "Mullet Mick", said Martin snr was clean shaven and showered on Sunday April 6 the day before the first attack.

"That was unusual for Mick. He looked happy," she said.

Known as a heavy drinker by all, Ms Fuller noticed that Mick had a schooner of water next to his beer.

"He was really trying to keep himself together and responsible," Ms Fuller said.

"He was excited about seeing his grandchildren for the first time."

Mr Campbell asked: "Did he tell you he hope this might be a reconciliation with his son?"

"Yes," she replied.

Witness Matthew Chapman gave evidence that Martin snr "said his boy had brought him two bottles of homemade rum".

"He said he was going to get stuck into them when he got home," Mr Chapman said.

It is alleged that this "gift" was designed to incapacitate Martin, a known alcoholic, before the attempt on his life that night.

In that attack, Martin suffered two collapsed lungs, a broken jaw, wounds to his neck and permanent loss of vision in his right eye from a stab wound.

The injuries were life threatening, he suffered complications during treatment including septic infection, and he was not released from hospital and rehabilitation until early June.

The trial has already heard allegations that Martin in fact "hated" his father from "years of abuse" in his childhood, particularly from the ages of 10 to 13.

The jury heard that in a lengthy interview to police in March 2015, Martin gave a "long and graphic" history of the abuse, and how memories of what his father had exposed him to still "haunted him" and he blamed him for his own ill health.

Topics:  lismore supreme court michael martin murwillumbah northern rivers court northern rivers crime



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