Prosecutors want an Islamic State sympathiser who murdered and mutilated his wife in front of their children to be jailed for life without parole.
But a lawyer for the Melbourne killer, who cannot be named to protect his children, says his client was suffering from drug-induced psychosis at the time, which could affect his sentence.
The 36-year-old appeared before the Victorian Supreme Court on Friday for a pre-sentence hearing after pleading guilty to murdering his wife at their Broadmeadows home in 2016.
Prosecutor Sharn Coombes said the couple’s children – aged two, four and six at the time – saw their father repeatedly attack their mother with a knife.
“The accused set upon a prolonged and vicious attack on his wife, murdering her in front of their three children,” she told the court.
“The two oldest children described their father having ‘slaughtered’ their mother in front of them.”
An autopsy revealed the 27-year-old woman died of blood loss, with multiple wounds to her face and genitals, a gouged-out right eye, and two amputated fingers.
Two of the children told authorities they saw their father flush their mother’s eye down the toilet.
The man later took his three young children with him to dump the body and afterwards ate pastries at a bakery.
“He closed the boot, then he sat on the boot to see if mum got up,” the boy told authorities.
“Mummy didn’t get up.”
A jogger found the body in bushes near the Dallas tennis club on June 17, 2016, and she remained unidentified for three weeks.
Her husband was arrested on July 4, 2016 after police went to the family home to check on the children.
No one had reported the woman missing. She moved to Australia from Lebanon and was cut off from friends and family because of her husband’s controlling behaviour.
He did not allow her to speak freely and refused to send the children to school and wanted them to only speak Lebanese, learn the Koran, and learn about guns and swords, war and jihad.
Ms Coombes said the man’s extreme interpretation of Islam – including an interest in jihad and desire to fight in Syria – “culminated in this vicious and cruel murder”.
She said the woman’s murder was “the ultimate act of family violence”.
“He should be sentenced to the maximum penalty in this case, without parole,” she told Justice Lex Lasry.
But defence barrister Scott Johns told the judge it cannot be proved the murder was caused by radicalisation.
“He told a psychiatrist he had been convinced his wife was a monster sent from God to kill him,” the barrister said.
“He has a documented history of psychotic disturbance associated with amphetamine use.”
The pre-sentence hearing will resume on Wednesday.
National domestic violence helpline: 1800 737 732 or 1800RESPECT. In an emergency call triple-zero. – AAP
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