Menu
News

Alleged samurai sword killer's 'bright idea' for life insurance

Michael Martin Jnr has been accused of murdering his father, Michael Martin Snr. Photo: contributed
Michael Martin Jnr has been accused of murdering his father, Michael Martin Snr. Photo: contributed Liana Turner

A DAMNING letter penned by murder accused Michael Martin to his wife showed his remorse over the alleged plot to kill his father, a jury has heard.

On the first day of the 28-year-old's Supreme Court murder trial in Lismore, Crown Prosecutor Brendan Campbell read aloud parts of the letter allegedly written by Martin to his wife Candace in about March 2015.

In it, Martin looks back with regret about the couple's "bright idea" to solve their financial woes once and for all - by allegedly killing his father.

"You and I would finally be able to have the things in life we wanted," the letter said.

Mr Campbell told the jury that despite having a good job in Esk working for Somerset Regional Council, the couple's financial situation was dire.

They had three children born premature, their income wasn't keeping pace with their expenses, and they had maxed out several credit cards.

So Martin allegedly hatched a plan to kill his father -after taking out three life insurance policies in his name worth a total of $2.5 million.

The jury heard his father, Michael Anthony Martin, was never told about the policies.

Martin junior "hated" his father - an alcoholic with an "abrasive personality" who often got into fights - because he had suffered years of abuse.

"The accused has told many people in many different situations about the abuse he suffered at his father's hands," Mr Campbell said.

"The upshot is that by 2013 the accused said... that he had severed all ties with his father."

But on April 6, 2014, the day before the first alleged attempt on Martin snr's life, his son had "reconnected", with him, having lunch together and bringing his wife and three children along.

But the very next night 46-year-old Martin and his friend Edwards Manning were the victim of a violent home invasion, from which they were lucky to survive.

The afternoon prior the jury heard Martin jnr took a "large quantity of alcohol" to his father's Murwillumbah unit so Martin Snr, an alcoholic, might be defenceless against the violent attack.

The first attack on Martin senior's life failed, but he eventually died two months later on June 13, 2014 - only just after he was released from hospital from the earlier assault.

In the letter, Martin wrote about his regrets having not realised the "ramifications" of his actions, but "25 years of torture from these people led me to do the unthinkable".

He said his "animal side" took over.

"I wanted to ease his pain, but was that my place? I know now that it wasn't..."

The letter was seized from Martin's work in Esk by police, who were by 2015 tapping his phone.

He was arrested soon after.

Appearing in the dock, Martin watched the proceedings impassively, hands clasped between his legs.

He wore a black suit, glasses, and a black and white tie.

The trial continues.

Topics:  editors picks life insurance murder michael phillip martin murwillumbah murder northern rivers court


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Region faces wild wind

DESTROYED: Half of the roof of the Moranbah home was ripped off from the 104km/h wind.

Moranbah residents say weather is worse than the cyclone.

Heroic rescue saves life

CLOSE CALL: Leslie Cruthers and Buddha at the spot the playful pup fell into the Nogoa River.

Kayakers rush to save dog walker clinging to riverbank.

National super star at age 13

Competing in Rotorua, New Zealand earlier this year.

Dingo local takes on international motocross competition.

Local Partners