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Aged man killed ex-wife’s associate with axe

An aged divorcee acted spontaneously when he ran down his ex-wife’s new associate earlier than chopping his head with an axe, a decide has been instructed.

Thanh Tran had not been sitting outdoors her Sydney residence all afternoon or night, however will need to have solely been there for a couple of minutes when he noticed his sufferer outdoors the home, his barrister mentioned.

Janet Manuell SC was making submissions within the NSW Supreme Courtroom right now on the sentence listening to of 79-year-old Tran.

He had denied murdering 59-year-old Pok Min Fah on March 14, 2019, however a jury in October discovered him responsible of the cost.

Tran, who had no legal historical past, did not deny repeatedly putting him with the axe after hitting him together with his automobile.

However he had argued his judgment was considerably impaired as a result of a lack of management brought on by trauma from his lived expertise of Cambodian dictator Pol Pot’s regime.

Psychiatrists testified he suffered from post-traumatic stress dysfunction and melancholy, however specialists differed on whether or not his impairment was substantial.

Married for greater than three a long time, the couple had a strained relationship and had been in impact separated, together with his spouse sharing their daughter’s bed room for the final 15 years that they had collectively.

Ms Manuell mentioned CCTV captured Tran’s coming and going to the Mekong Membership earlier than the assault, not sitting outdoors his ex-wife’s residence in Cabramatta West.

He will need to have been there for only some minutes earlier than he noticed Mr Fah outdoors carrying a ladder, which Tran believed belonged to him.

This may increasingly have triggered the spontaneous assault as he clearly thought Mr Fah was answerable for breaking apart his household life.

Justice Robert Button mentioned the presence of the axe within the boot of Tran’s automobile was troubling, however Ms Manuell mentioned it was not a brand new axe.

“Clearly it was an axe that was in his possession for a while,” she mentioned.

The presence of binoculars in his automobile might be defined by his hoping to glimpse his kids, being pre-occupied with having contact with them regardless of their unwillingness.

Prosecutor Katharine Jeffreys accepted there was a component of opportunism concerned within the assault and Tran had responded to seeing Mr Fah.

“However I might recommend you’d reject full spontaneity,” she instructed the decide, referring to the presence of the binoculars and the axe.

She mentioned Tran’s rationalization of getting the axe for self-defence solely was first advised by him in cross-examination throughout the trial.

“I submit he had an intent to kill at the least when utilizing the axe and from at the least the time he began the automobile and drove it on the deceased.”

The decide referred to the absence of proof indicating regret.

No sufferer affect statements had been introduced to the court docket.

Justice Button famous that some individuals who beloved and honoured the reminiscence of a deceased particular person felt a trial barely talked about them.

“I believe I ought to guarantee anybody that the deceased is under no circumstances forgotten and certainly his violent demise is the entire motive for the trial and proceedings.”

He’ll sentence Tran on December 9.

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