Michael Phillip Martin has been found guilty of the attempted murder and subsequent brutal death of his father with a samurai sword at Murwillumbah in 2014 to cash in on more than $2.5 million in life insurance.
During an eight week trial before the Lismore Supreme Court the 12 person jury heard the then 25-year-old took out three life insurance policies in his fathers name in 2014, shortly after rekindling their relationship.
The jury heard how Martin jnr suffered an abusive and traumatic upbringing at the hands of his father Michael Anthony Martin.
A key piece of evidence in the crown case against the 28-year-old was a nine page ‘confession’ letter Martin jnr had written to his wife Candace, which was found by police in his desk at Somerset Regional Council.
Crown prosecutor Brendan Campbell argued that Martin jnr was referring to killing his father to get the life insurance when he wrote of a ‘bright idea’ in the letter.
‘Money got tighter and we had another bright idea to free our lives up more,’ Martin jnr wrote.
‘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.’
Under cross examination by Mr Campbell, Martin jnr told the court the letter was how psychologists had advised him to express his thoughts on paper.
Another piece of evidence that tied Martin jnr to the crime was a Bunnings receipt for all the murder equipment, including disinfectant, gloves and cloth tape, purchased the day before the murder.
The jury found Martin jnr guilty of attempted murder and inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent, over the attack on Mr Martin snr and his friend Edmund Manning, at his Quarry Road unit on the night of April 6.
Mr Martin snr spent almost two months in hospital recovering from the April attack, only to pay the ultimate price.
Preparing to help his father move from the East Murwillumbah unit, Martin jnr told police he was woken at 3am when he was whacked in the forehead, dragged into the kitchen and bound and gagged with cloth tape.
He described hearing a ‘gurgling sound’, that he believed was his father’s throat being cut, and said he was told to ‘shut up or you will die’.
Martin jnr claimed he and his father were the victims of a violent home invasion by intruders wearing balaclavas.
But after five days of deliberation, the jury believed the crown’s accusations that in the early hours of June 13, Mr Martin jnr hacked his father to death with a samurai sword.
An autopsy of the 46-year-old, known as ‘Mullet Mick’ found brutal injuries he sustained were consistent with the use of a samurai sword, the jury heard, a weapon Martin jnr was trained to use.
The sword was never found and police believe he gave it to an accomplice to dispose of.
Martin jnr will be sentenced by Justice Peter Hamill at a later date.