Dad killer gets 37 years
Cash plan drove son to murder
SKILLED martial arts fighter Michael Martin needed cash and he needed it fast.
So he rekindled his relationship with the father he had always hated and took out $2.5 million worth of life insurance on him.
On April 7, 2014, he lured his father, Michael Martin Sr, back to a Murwillumbah unit on the state’s north coast and in a savage attack left the 46year-old in a critical condition.
But the vengeful son had not finished the job and as soon as his father returned to his Quarry Rd flat after months in hospital, he struck again – this time fatally.
Martin, 28, was yesterday sentenced to a maximum of 37 years’ jail for bashing and hacking his father to death with a Samurai sword.
During the trial the jury heard that after the murder, Martin tied himself up and lay screaming at the bottom of a flight of stairs, waiting for a passer-by to find him. In a recorded police interview, he claimed to officers he had been the victim of a violent home invasion and heard his father being killed by intruders wearing balaclavas.
“I got striked (sic) like hit. I got dragged by the feet out into the kitchen area, that’s where I got bound by tape,” he said in a small interview room at Tweed Heads police station. “I got told, ‘Shut up or you die’ … and I heard Dad’s throat being cut.”
Martin is a father of two and in November last year his wife Candace Martin was sentenced to a maximum jail term of 10 years for her role in the planning of the murder.
A jury found Martin guilty of the murder in October last year after a trial where they were able to read a nine-page confession letter he had penned to his wife.
In the note – found inside his desk at Somerset Regional Council – the Crown said Martin was referring to the plan to kill his father and cash in on his life insurance when he spoke about a “bright idea”.
The letter said: “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.”
The Crown alleged Martin knew he was planning to kill his father in June when he wrote: “It wasn’t your fear but mine that caused me to come up with the solution I did. In that trip down to NSW, I knew what was coming but spoke to Dad as if everything were fine.”
During the trial, the jury was presented with a Bunnings receipt that showed Martin purchased gaffa tape, gloves, cleaning products and ropes the day before his father was viciously killed.
The trial also heard Martin pretended to be his father when he called up three insurance companies to take out life insurance policies.
Justice Peter Hamill said the evidence pointed to the murder as being “a coldblooded execution for money”.
“He has two cracks at it, the second attempt comes after visiting him in hospital how many times, feigning concern?” he said.
Michael Martin Jnr made an appeal to the public for help in solving the murder of his father Michael Martin Snr (above right) at his Murwillumbah unit. Martin Jnr was yesterday sentenced to 37 years in jail for the savage killing.