source : www.abc.net.au
The trial in Sydney of a man who told police he would have become a serial killer if he had not been stopped.
Most important points:
- The suspect’s lawyer told the court that his client’s mental state is the most important question in the trial
- The suspect confessed to his crimes to police and said he had fantasized about murder since childhood
- The trial is expected to last five weeks in the Supreme Court of New South Wales
Warning: This story contains content that readers may find disturbing.
The suspect, who is not being identified by the ABC, is on trial at the High Court in Sydney for the murder of 56-year-old homeless man Andrew Whyte Murray, whose body was found near Jack Evans Boat Harbor near Tweed Heads in November. 2019.
He is also facing attempted murder charges after he was allegedly recorded on CCTV slitting the throat of an inmate at a Hunter Valley detention centre.
On Wednesday, the jury was told that the man described himself as “the Hand of Death,” signed letters to police with the acronym “THOD,” told police “I like to kill” and that he “always wanted to kill.” .
In his opening statement, Attorney General Brendan Campbell told the court the suspect had admitted he was always angry and told police he “waited and watched… to find the less alive, the people no one would miss” .
The court was told the suspect said in a police interview that “the Hand of Death” was a reflection of his inner monster.
The court heard the suspect had sent police a letter along with a list of places in Sydney where he planned to kill homeless people, including at the Art Gallery of New South Wales and a library.
He was arrested by police as he boarded a bus to Sydney at Tweed Heads.
The court heard that during police interviews the suspect said: “I know I’m bad, but I’m calculated and controlled” and told them he was watching and waiting for people who “fit my victim profile”.
Defense attorney Jason Watts told the jury at the trial that they would hear evidence that could indicate the suspect took a “callous,” “casual” or “inappropriately amused” attitude toward the killing.
The court was told that the question of whether the suspect has a personality disorder or a mental disorder was at the heart of the case.
The man’s mental state could determine whether he is criminally responsible for his actions, which could lead to the charges being reduced.
Mr Watts told the jury that the defendant had been taking medication since the incidents and that the jury would hear from a number of psychiatrists over time about the status of his mental health.
‘Should have been locked up’
Inspector Mathew Wood was the first witness called on Wednesday and confirmed that Mr Murray died as a result of multiple and extensive blunt force head injuries, similar to those caused by a rock.
He also told the court that the suspect’s bloodstained fingerprints had been found at the scene of Mr Murray’s murder and that the suspect had been living a homeless lifestyle in a makeshift camp on the hill above where the body was found.
The jury was shown CCTV footage of the suspect shopping, going to the bank, a library and a pub prior to the day of the murder.
The jury also watched a video of a police interview with the suspect in which he said: “I did it, I bashed his head in, it’s like, I can’t lie – I did it.”
In the video shown to the jury, the suspect told police “this could have been prevented.”
“I was in second grade and I wanted to kill people. I always had it in me: I should have been locked up,” he said.
‘My mother took me to a child psychologist.
“Nothing could fix it – I tried to bury it.”
The court heard the suspect also told police he was conflicted over whether he should kill Murray.
“I hesitated, picked up a rock and put it down maybe three times,” he said.
Judge Hament Dhanji expressed concern about the graphic nature of the evidence expected to be presented at the trial, including CCTV footage of the attempted murder at Cessnock Prison.
The Crown and defense both argued for the footage to be viewed because it was partly filmed from a distance, but asked the court not to see the aftermath and other angles of the attack.
The trial is expected to last five weeks.
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source : www.abc.net.au