BLOODY HELL OF UNIT RAID
Son denies murdering dad in shocking sword attack
Scott Collingwood says he was driving to work about 5am when he heard someone yelling. He spotted a man at the bottom of a flight of stairs with his legs, arms and mouth bound with gaffer tape.
He untied the man — civil engineer Michael Martin Jr — then walked up the stairs and into a unit, where a court heard he saw a bloodied body.
Mr Collingwood called triple-0 and said, “I think there’s a deceased person and an assault at 18-20 Quarry Road, Murwillumbah.
“I live behind and I was just driving to work and ah, I, I heard someone yell help, and ah, there was a gentleman, the guy was laying on the ground. His legs, his arms and legs and mouth bound, so I unbound him,” he said.
As Mr Collingwood talked to the triple-0 operator he passed the phone to the man he had found trussed up on the ground. “Um, it’s me Dad’s dead … He’s dead, he’s dead,” Martin said.
The operator asked him what had happened. “Oh, I don’t know, sometime in the night people come in and they grabbed me. I was sleeping. They took me out to the kitchen and then I don’t know what they’ve done to Dad, but he’s dead, he’s friggin’ dead.”
Fast forward three years and Martin is sitting in the witness box of his NSW Supreme Court murder trial in Lismore. This week, under intense questioning from Crown prosecutor Brendan Campbell, he denied he killed his father — Michael Martin Sr — in the early hours of June 13, 2014, in order to cash in on the $2.5 million life insurance he had taken out.
He also denied he had tried to kill his father two months earlier on April 7, an attack that left Martin Sr in a coma for several weeks.
It is the Crown case Martin got someone else to tie him up, or tied himself up, with gaffer tape to make it appear as though there had been a violent home invasion on the night he hacked his father to death with a samurai sword.
During the trial the jury has been shown a Bunnings receipt showing Martin allegedly purchased gloves, ropes, a bucket, disinfectant and cloth tape — also known as gaffer tape — the day before the alleged murder.
Martin said he had taken his father to the older man’s South Murwillumbah unit in order to pack up his belongings on June 12, after he had been attacked there in April. The items he had purchased from Bunnings were allegedly to help with the move, the court was told.
But Mr Campbell suggested to Martin there was no evidence of any packing done that night and that he had used the gaffer tape he purchased the day before to
“25 years of torture from these people led me to do the unthinkable. I let myself lose control and it scared me. Not at what I didd but the mere fact that the animal side got the better of me” Extract from a letter Michael Martin Jr wrote to his wife Candace (below).
I don’t know what they’ve done to Dad but he’s dead. Michael Martin Jr
stage a home invasion.
“The only risk to your father that night was the person he was with … that is, you?” Mr Campbell asked.
“That’s not correct,” Martin replied.
“There was blood all over the bathroom, there was finger print powder … there was blood all over the lounge and all over the walls.
“I suggest it is inconceivable that you would wish to stay there,” Mr Campbell replied.
Martin looked down and said: “I’ve slept in worst places than that.”
Earlier this week Martin told the court a nine-page letter he wrote to his wife Candace was not a confession to the attempted murder and murder. The Crown alleges the letter — found in his work desk at Somerset Regional Council — made numerous admissions but Martin said what he wrote was not reality but rather a form of therapy.
A passage of the letter reads: “Money got tighter and we had another bright idea to free our lives up more. You and I would finally be able to have the things in life we ever wanted … 25 years of torture from these people led me to do the unthinkable. I let myself lose control and it scared me. Not at what I did but the mere fact that the animal side got the better of me.”
Martin told the court he had lied to police when questioned about the three life insurance policies he took out because he knew it would place him under “suspicion” for his father’s murder.
Under questioning from his defence barrister Gabriel Wendler, he told the jury he took out the policies in consultation with his father, who told him his life was under threat from other people.
The trial continues before Justice Peter Hamill.
Michael Martin Sr, who was found dead in his unit at Murwillumbah. Picture: Blainey Woodham/ Tweed Daily News
of the crime, from the scene unit (top) recovered police at the A tomahawk that greeted bloody mess Sr in June 2014. and (above) the Michael Martin the attack on in the wake of Michael Martin Jr, who is standing trial for the murder of his father.