Deadly rampage in Bega sparked by missing motorbike: court
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Deadly rampage in Bega sparked by missing motorbike: court

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A troubled 20-year-old who flew into a rage when he couldn't find his motorbike and went on a deadly rampage, killing his grandmother and a retired police officer, was suffering from undiagnosed schizophrenia at the time, the NSW Supreme Court has been told.

Murray Deakin, now 22, stands charged with two counts of murder and the attempted murder of his grandfather, as a judge-alone trial commenced in Sydney on Monday.

Murray Deakin's June 2018 rampage in Bega left his grandmother and a retired police officer dead.

Murray Deakin's June 2018 rampage in Bega left his grandmother and a retired police officer dead. Credit:Nine News

Agreed facts tendered on the first day of his trial reveal Mr Deakin used a pen knife to stab his grandparents, Thomas and Gail Winner, on the afternoon of June 1, 2018, after Mr Winner moved Mr Deakin's motorbike from the driveway of the couple's Bega home to the garage.

As passers-by rushed to help his dying grandmother around 3.30pm, Mr Deakin took her car and fled. In the following hour, police would start and terminate two high-speed chases before his erratic driving caught the attention of retired police officer Mick Horne.

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Murray Deakin used a hammer to kill retired police officer Mick Horne, 54.

Murray Deakin used a hammer to kill retired police officer Mick Horne, 54.

According to the agreed facts, Mr Deakin struck Mr Horne with a claw hammer after the 54-year-old pulled up and confronted him over the erratic driving and damage to the car caused when Mr Deakin had clipped a truck minutes earlier.

Mr Horne filmed the encounter on a video which is expected to be played in court this week. In it, Mr Deakin can be heard telling him "you have to follow the code" before pulling out the hammer, which he would use to deliver a fatal blow to Mr Horne's skull.

In her opening statement, defence barrister Julia-Ann Hickleton said she would rely on psychiatric evidence that Mr Deakin was, for some time, "perhaps years prior" to the killings, in the early stages of schizophrenia, and this was the cause of the psychosis he experienced that day.

She also questioned witness Therese Howes, a former partner of Mr Deakin's father Jeffery, who said the younger Mr Deakin had confided in her at about the age of 17 that he was hearing voices, and he was already displaying erratic and occasionally violent behaviour at that time.

The behaviour she observed included removing the shower head from the shower due to a "fascination with bathroom fixtures", scrubbing himself "until he was raw all over" and washing his hands constantly. Mr Deakin's father told her he had sometimes come up behind him and hit him in the head.

Ms Howes said she had also observed the boy carrying a mallet over his other grandmother's head and "feigning" dropping it, in what appeared to be "a childish game".

Ms Howes said attempts were made to get him to see a doctor but Murray, whose uncle had "also had a chemical imbalance", refused.

Ms Howes told the court she had heard from her daughter that Murray had smoked cannabis, but said he had never done so in front of her. After finding out, she said there was a conversation where she expressed that "I wasn't real impressed" and "I didn’t think it was a very good idea to be giving Murray any form of [the psychoactive compound present in cannabis] THC".

Crown prosecutor Neil Adams SC told the court that there is no dispute that Mr Deakin was suffering from psychosis when he stabbed his grandparents and killed Mr Horne, "and accordingly there was a defect of reason".

But he said the Crown will argue his psychosis did not arise from "a disease of the mind", and rather was triggered by drug use.

The trial continues.

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