KILLER'S VIDEO: I’ll never be….’bloody women-raping bastard’
FOUR years before he crafted a plan to "take out" his "piece of sh*t" biological father, Michael Phillip Martin gave the world a telling glimpse into his private world.
The then 20-year-old appeared in a short documentary about his country cowboy lifestyle, revealing his aspirations for a wife and struggle with depression and multiple suicide attempts.
"I feel blue all the time. Some people call that depression I just call that normal," he told the unseen interviewer, later revealing the time he took "100 pills".
For homicide detectives looking to understand the man they were certain orchestrated and carried out the murder of his father, the film provided a crucial insight.
In it, he tells of moving in with his "old man" at the age of nine and experiencing things "most people shouldn't ever see".
"(It) makes you hard, makes you tough, sometimes makes you too hard, you don't show anything," he said.
Of his father he said: "I'll never become something like that, child abusing, bloody women raping bastard".
"I said (to him) 'I'm becoming something.... I'm going to make a life myself.'.
"That was the last time I saw him, I said 'catch you later'.
"Never seen him again, never will again either I don't reckon."
It was a stark contrast with what Martin told police in a recorded interview just before his arrest in March 2015, that the pair shared a "father and son" bond.
Martin did see his father again, on Sunday April 6, 2014, two months after he had arranged three life insurance policies on his life worth a combined $2.5 million.
That day at Murwillumbah's Court House hotel, he lunched with his dad in what was supposed to be a long lost coming together.
But it was all part of a plan to kill his father and claim the life insurance benefit for himself and his family.
Then late that night he arrived at his father's unit disguised in a balaclava and gloves, where he stabbed and beat him almost to death along with his father's flatmate Eddie Manning.
Nine weeks later he drove his father back to Murwillumbah under the pretence of helping to clean out his squalid, blood stained unit on April 12.
In the middle of the night, he woke from his swag on the floor of the unit and viciously slashed and stabbed his father with a Samurai sword more than 10 times, until 46-year-old "Mullet Mick" died from a stab wound straight into his heart.
Today, a Supreme Court judge will deliver his sentence to the killer, now 28.
Justice Peter Hamill must weigh up the complex motivations at play in the murder and murder plot to ascertain whether Martin deserves a life sentence.
Was Martin traumatised from his upbringing to such an extent that the murder of his father was a way to "cleanse" his soul, in the words of his barrister Gabriel Wendler.
Or was this outright greed, the worst kind of motivation, to coldly cash in on his father's death?
The truth lies somewhere in between, but how much will determine how long Martin spends behind bars.
*To see the full documentary Today's Cowboys and a full list of contributors on the project, click here.