Dad killer gets 37 years

Cash plan drove son to mur­der

Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin - - NEWS - EMMA PAR­TRIDGE

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.

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