Woman fought violent attacker who stabbed partner to death

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Woman fought violent attacker who stabbed partner to death

Updated

August 16, 2018 21:40:31

A woman subject to a violent and sustained home invasion tried to arm herself and go back into her apartment to save her partner after she managed to escape from their attacker, a court has heard.

Damien Eric Maxfield earlier this week pleaded guilty to stabbing to death Scott Martin, 40 and endangering the life of Erelle Mason, 32, at their Halls Head home.

Maxfield had been due to go on trial on Monday to deny the charges on psychiatric grounds, but pleaded guilty at the last moment.

The Perth Supreme Court heard today Maxfield had been using methamphetamine for up to two years, and had been taking a plethora of drugs in the days leading up the attack.

Maxfield had been at the casino and using methamphetamine with another man he met there, before continuing on to an acquaintance’s house where he consumed methamphetamine, cannabis and alcohol.

Prosecutor Laura Christian said he told the woman, who he ran into on a train after leaving the casino, that he had “not slept for five days”.

Maxfield was later picked up by police in a confused state in a vacant lot.

In the early hours of January 14 last year, officers took him to a Halls Head apartment block address he gave them, that he had been evicted from months earlier, and left him there after he apologised and “insisted on shaking their hand”.

Ms Mason had been out walking when she returned home to the apartment complex shortly after 1:00am.

She and her partner, Scott Martin, had moved into the neighbouring apartment of the one Maxfield had been evicted from, and did not know him.

The court was told Maxfield had left his guitar with the previous tenants, his neighbours, and had been acting strangely and trying to get it back.

Mr Martin was asleep on the couch when Ms Martin arrived home.

She walked into the house, went through the kitchen to the fridge without turning the light on, and then went to bed.

As she was drifting off to sleep, she heard her partner call out “No, no” and thought he was dreaming.

She got up to go to him but then saw Maxfield standing in the apartment.

According to the prosecutor, she then “ran at him, calling out a challenge”.

He grabbed her by the throat and repeatedly punched her in the face. He then hit her with what felt like a brick breaking two of her teeth.

Maxfield then picked up a step ladder and hit her in the face and body.

At one point he told her “I want to kill you, I want you to look at me while I do”.

He pursued her and pushed her against a wall, continuing to strangle her. At times Ms Mason began to lose consciousness.

She broke free, and he pursued her out onto the foyer, grabbing her mobile phone and trying to use it to “entice” her to come back into the apartment.

Ms Mason fled and was found by a neighbour and taken into another apartment.

She “armed herself with a knife” and wanted to go back for Mr Martin, but was stopped by one of the other residents.

Police arrived and arrested Mr Maxfield, who had entered another apartment after climbing out of the balcony and onto the floor below, and climbed into the shower.

Defence lawyer Paul Yovich said his client had no recollection of the attack and had been suffering from psychosis.

Whether the psychosis was drug induced or pre-existing may impact the moral culpability and sentence Maxfield will receive.

Mr Martin’s mother, Carol Martin, read a victim’s impact statement in court, saying her son’s death had affected many people.

“As a mother, I am so empty inside, there is a huge void that has taken over my life,” she said.

“When I saw him lying there in that mortuary I kissed his still cold body … leaving him in there took all my strength.”

She said her mental and physical health had deteriorated and she had to put off surgery so she could attend the trial.

Maxfield, who had a heavy beard and longish, thinning hair, blinked and looked down as the statement was read.

Maxfield will be sentenced on September 14.

Topics:

murder-and-manslaughter,

law-crime-and-justice,

halls-head-6210,

wa

First posted

August 16, 2018 20:29:07

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