Murder accused 'lied' about insurance

MURDER CASE: Michael Anthony Martin (pictured) was killed at his South Murwillumbah home in 2014. His son, Michael Phillip Martin, is on trial for his murder in the Supreme Court in Lismore.
MURDER CASE: Michael Anthony Martin (pictured) was killed at his South Murwillumbah home in 2014. His son, Michael Phillip Martin, is on trial for his murder in the Supreme Court in Lismore. Blainey Woodham

MURDER accused Michael Martin has admitted lying to police over crucial details of three life insurance policies worth $2.5 million taken out in his father's name.

Under cross-examination by the Crown for the second day yesterday, Martin admitted he failed to mention their existence until pressed during interviews with police eight months after his father's murder.

Even then he admitted misleading police by underplaying the value of the policies.

Martin had taken out the insurance in the months before his father's bashing and subsequent death.

But when police asked him about them in the March 2015 interview he said there was only one "small" policy, perhaps worth $100,000.

Martin told police that he didn't think the policy would even cover the cleaning costs of his father's South Murwillumbah unit or any outstanding bills.

"You were trying to suggest it was only a very small amount of money," Crown Prosecutor Brendan Campbell said to Martin.

"That was a lie."

Martin replied: "Yes".

In the police interview, Mr Campbell alleged Martin was shocked and bewildered when told about the existence of a policy worth $1million.

Martin had speculated it was a typing error that led to him taking out such a large policy.

"I certainly wouldn't have done a million," the Crown said he told police.

"Are you aware of any other insurance policies?" the officers had asked him.

"No, no," he had replied.

Mr Campbell said that was a "deliberate lie".

"You knew that multiple policies... would implicate you in his murder," he told Martin.

Martin told the court he lied because he panicked while in the interview, realising he would appear guilty.

"You lied when you thought you needed to protect yourself," Mr Campbell said.

The 28-year-old accused had also told police he thought the policy only covered accidental death.

But Mr Campbell said to Martin: "You were in no doubt that the life insurance policies you had taken out... covered murder.

"You asked about that... you were told it would cover deliberate and intentional acts."

Martin didn't disagree.

"Dearest Candace"

The Crown also referred again to the so-called Dearest Candace letter in which Martin allegedly confesses to the murder in March 2015 letter to his wife, written just weeks before his arrest.

In it, Martin wrote he "knew what was coming" on the afternoon of June 12, the day before the alleged murder, "but spoke to Dad as if everything was fine".

"When all this time you knew you were planning to kill him, and you'd taken a katana for that purpose," Mr Campbell said.

Martin denied this allegation.

Alleged murder weapon

The court heard Martin had purchased a "quality katana" several years ago as part of his training in Zendokai martial arts. The sword was "very special to him", Mr Campbell said.

Mr Campbell suggested he hid the samurai sword in a swag in the back of his car, which he later slept on in his father's unit on the night of the murder.

Martin said he sold the sword in late 2012 because he didn't want it in the home "with young kids running around".

The trial continues.

Topics:  michael martin murwillumbah murder samurai sword murder

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