Murder accused's childhood home was 'house of horrors'

Exterior of crime scene, Michael Phillip Martin trial.
Exterior of crime scene, Michael Phillip Martin trial. Contributed

THE man standing trial for carrying out the alleged gruesome murder of his father has described the home of his upbringing as a "house of horrors".

Michael Phillip Martin told the court his childhood home was characterised by drugs, alcohol, and even bullet holes in the walls.

Under questioning from his defence lawyer yesterday, Martin was seeking to explain why he and his father decided to stay in a grungy unit spattered with bloodstains and police fingerprint powder on the night of June 12, 2015.


Michael Phillip Martin trial, crime scene photos. View showing the kitchen.
Michael Phillip Martin trial, crime scene photos. View showing the kitchen. Contributed NSW SUPREME COURT

The Crown has argued it was "inconceivable" the men would choose to stay in the apartment unless there were "ulterior motives" at play.

The unit was still a bloody mess after the violent home invasion on April 7 - also alleged to have been planned and carried out by Martin jnr - which left his father hospitalised for almost two months with life threatening injuries.

But Martin told the court their decision wasn't unusual - he had slept in "worse places" during his childhood. He said this was the manner in which his father was accustomed to living.

The 28-year-old - who in 2014 lived with his wife and children in the Queensland town of Esk - was ostensibly in Murwillumbah on June 12 to assist his dad to move out of the unit. But there was no evidence any packing was done that night.

Instead the pair went to Murwillumbah's Riverview Hotel for dinner and drinks shortly after 5pm. The son even bought his dad a case of beer, before they returned to the unit.

The next morning, the 46-year-old was found dead with more than 10 stab and slash wounds to his body, while his son was found bound with tape at the bottom of the unit's stairs.

The Crown presented evidence the tape Martin was bound with was identical to a roll of cloth tape he had purchased at a Bunnings in Ipswich the day before the incident.

On the morning after, he told a police officer he wasn't aware of the black tape, saying he only remembered buying clear packing tape.

"At that time I was very traumatised," he told Crown Prosecutor Brendan Campbell.

Martin was also asked why he pretended to be his father on a phone call with One Path insurance when he asked if the policy covered "deliberate" death.

"Because I was arranging the insurance items for dad... rather than dad having to deal with it," he said.

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