A woman who brutally killed her ex-partner with an ax she bought from Bunnings looked up how to do it online before taking a taxi to a police station to confess to the murder, a court was told.
The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons but has been given the alias Gina Smith by the court, stabbed her 35-year-old ex-partner several times as he lay with his iPad in the upstairs bedroom of their St Mary’s townhouse. in Western Sydney in September 2020.
A sentencing hearing in the NSW Supreme Court on Friday heard the 36-year-old flew into a “jealous rage” when she thought her partner was cheating on her.
The court heard that at the time Smith was the subject of an arrest warrant for assault.
According to the common facts, at the time of Smith’s murder, her partner’s “perception of infidelity” “was sufficient.”
She texted her ex-partner while he was with another woman.
The court heard her ex-partner told the woman he was with that the message was from his “dangerous” ex-partner who was violent and abusive.
While he was with the woman, Smith sent 19 text messages berating him for having sex with someone and tried to call him between 5.30am and 1pm.
Judge Natalie Adams told the court that Smith had been searching the internet for a month before and on the day of the murder.
“She said her emotions got so high that she went out and bought an ax and then killed him,” Judge Adams said.
Smith’s quests included: “Can you kill someone with hot boiling water” and “Is it really easy to kill someone with a knife.”
She also searched: “How to kill someone with an ax” and “What part of the body is the fastest to kill someone with an ax?”.
Judge Adams told the court earlier this evening that the 36-year-old man bought the ax from Bunnings but later lied to police about where it came from.
Smith asked several friends to take her to the hardware store, but eventually caught a cab waiting outside while she shopped for Trojans everywhere.
The court was told she sent several text messages to her local pastor at 8.24pm on the night of the murder.
“You might hear something on the news, I might end up in jail,” one message read.
“I can’t fight this anymore.”
Smith waited until the next morning and did more Google searches before CCTV footage showed her smoking a cigarette outside the Sydney Street home.
She called a taxi, which took her to the police station, where she appeared “calm” and admitted to murdering her ex-partner, but made up many lies.
While Smith immediately confessed to killing her ex-partner, prosecutor Gabrielle Steedman and defense attorney Bernadette O’Reilly argue over the timing of the murder.
Ms Steedman claims the woman killed him in the evening, ordered UberEats and left the body sitting overnight.
But Ms O’Reilly said her client claimed she went to a shop the next morning where she was “extraordinarily dressed with make-up” before killing the 35-year-old.
“Her appearance and the immaculate condition of the clothes she presented at the police station during questioning suggest that these were the clothes she had been wearing after the murder,” Ms Steedman told the court.
Ms O’Reilly told the court that Smith’s relationship with her former partner was “volatile” and “marked by domestic violence”.
She admitted that jealousy, anger and revenge played a role in the brutal murder.
The victim’s devastated aunt appeared in court and delivered a victim impact statement where she emotionally told the court that her family had suffered greatly following his death.
“Calling my late sister after that phone call with the police was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do,” Ms Roberts told the court through tears.
“My family and I… can’t cope.”
Ms Roberts said it was difficult for her family to “comprehend” why her nephew had been “taken” from them in “such a horrible and cruel way”.
She said her sister and the victim’s mother, Helen, was “suffocating with grief” and her mental health had deteriorated since her son’s death.
“Helen sat silently among our family, hunched over her phone, looking through pictures of her son and grandchildren, and I heard her sob,” she said.
“Her heart was suffocating with grief – the loss of her son cut her life short.”
Smith will be sentenced on November 4.