Man accused of murdering his father weeps in court
SHAKEN, agitated and in tears, alleged murderer Michael Phillip Martin appeared in the Lismore Local Court yesterday barely long enough to mouth "I love you" to his family sitting nearby, before he was gone again.
Martin junior, 25, has been charged with murdering his father Michael Martin senior, 46, in June last year in South Murwillumbah.
Martin didn't say anything in court and his legal team did not apply for bail.
He was in court for just a few minutes.
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An elderly couple and two women with two children, believed to be Martin's wife and her family, were in the court's public gallery. The two women were also in tears.
One woman had time to return the "I love you," message before the court moved on, and Martin was returned to his cell.
Just a week ago Martin junior joined police to make a public appeal for information about the murder of his father.
He said at the time he had listened helplessly as his father was hacked to death.
"I was going to help him make a new start," he said at the time.
During the deadly night he said he feared for his own life and didn't see the attackers.
"I got dragged down and taped up ... in the kitchen," Martin said.
"I could just hear the noises of my father being killed. It was just terrifying. I never expected I'd see my wife and children again."
During the public appeal the police did not declare they had any major leads or suspects in the case.
Jessica Honey Fallon, 21, has also been arrested and charged with attempting to murder Mr Martin senior in April last year.
Mr Martin senior was stabbed in the eye during that alleged attack, and was back in his home for just one day before he was killed.
The arrest of Martin junior followed a nine-month investigation by Tweed-Byron LAC detectives, as well as those from the homicide squad, Tweed-Byron crime manager Detective Inspector Brendon Cullen said.
"It has been a long and complex investigation it has taken many hours of tireless effort by our detectives to come up with this result," he said.
"It is a significant result but there is still a lot of work to be done.
"Our police are continuing with the investigation."