'Cold blooded' killer given 37 year jail sentence
THE man who carried out a "cold blooded and calculated plan" to kill his alcoholic, itinerant father for $2.5 million in life insurance has been sentenced to at least 27 years and nine months in jail for his crimes.
Michael Phillip Martin, a 28-year-old civil engineer and father of two, will first be eligible for parole on December 13, 2042.
The murder took place in Martin's father's squalid South Murwillumbah unit on June 13, 2014, when 46-year-old Michael Anthony Martin, or "Mullet Mick", was hacked and stabbed to death with a Japanese katana.
It occurred just two months after an earlier home invasion of the same unit by Martin, disguised in a balaclava, which ended with his father and his father's flatmate Edmund Manning both in a critical condition, and Martin snr blinded in one eye.
Supreme Court Justice Peter Hamill said while Martin's murderous actions had some things in common with a "cold blooded contract killing", it was also no coincidence that "the target of his crimes was the man he held responsible for his difficulties".
He accepted that Martin had suffered some abuse at the hands of his father as a child, which had contributed to his subsequent depression and multiple suicide attempts.
However, Justice Hamill found that "avarice" was Martin's "primary motivation" in planning and carrying out the killing.
Unbeknownst to his father, Martin had set up three life insurance policies in his name in February 2014 worth a combined $2.5 million.
Martin was the sole beneficiary of one of the policies, worth $1 million.
And when his first attempt to kill his father in Murwillumbah on April 7, 2014 failed, Martin carried through with the plan two months later - despite visiting his father several times in hospital in the interim and witnessing his suffering first hand.
Judge Hamill said Martin "never relented from his determination to kill his father nor profit from (his death)" and the deadly attack, which was carried out with "precision and determination".
"The moral delinquency involved in this course of conducts is staggering," Judge Hamill said.
Martin showed no emotion as he was sentenced to an aggregate maximum of 37 years for the crimes of murdering his father, and two counts relating to the earlier April 7 attempted murder - grievous bodily harm with intent to murder his father, and grievous bodily harm with intent to Edmund Manning.
None of his family members were present, the wooden pews in the public gallery empty save for a handful of homicide detectives and a lone member of the public.
He will first be eligible for parole on December 13, 2042, taking into account time served since his arrest in March 14, 2015.