Son de­nies mur­der­ing dad in shock­ing sword at­tack

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - - The Everest - EMMA PAR­TRIDGE

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.

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