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Death payout checked before alleged murder

Michael Martin Jnr has been accused of murdering his father, Michael Martin Snr. Photo: contributed
Michael Martin Jnr has been accused of murdering his father, Michael Martin Snr. Photo: contributed Liana Turner

MURDER accused Michael Phillip Martin phoned a life insurance company to ask whether a $1 million insurance policy he had taken out in his father's name covered "deliberate" death, a jury has heard.

On day two of the 28-year-old's Supreme Court murder trial over the death of his father in June 2014, the jury was told about specific details of the insurance policies from Crown prosecutor Brendan Campbell.

Mr Campbell said that in a phone call recorded by the insurer One Path on February 24 2014, Martin - posing as his father - asked about exclusions in the policy and was told it didn't cover deliberate death, or suicide.

"So that's not deliberate from someone else, that's deliberate from you, right?" he allegedly asked.

The policy with One Path was one of three Martin took out in February 2014 worth a combined total of $2.5 million.

All three were made in his father's name, Michael Anthony Martin, but he paid with his own credit card and used his home address on the contact form.

He was the sole beneficiary of one of the policies.

Almost one month after the violent death of his father he contacted one of the insurers to claim the policy.

But they wanted to see a Coroner's report - so he eventually asked police for it.

By that time, they were already suspicious.

In interviews with police in early 2015, Martin was asked about what he described as a "little policy" he had taken out in his father's name.

He told them he had "forgotten" to tell them about it.

"Can you explain to me why there is a second policy in your father's name?" a police officer allegedly asked Martin.

"No," he replied, "I don't remember taking that out... I didn't know about it."

Martin is accused of the murder of his father, Michael Anthony, of the early morning of June 13 2015 and the grievous bodily harm with intent to murder him on the morning April 7 2015.

He is also charged with grievous bodily harm with intent over the assault of Edward Manning who was a fellow occupant of Martin snr's South Murwillumbah flat on the night of April 6-7, 2015.

The court heard more details about a letter entitled "Dearest Candace" allegedly written by Martin to his wife Candace in early 2015.

In it, Martin allegedly wrote of coming up with a "bright idea" to the couple's financial woes, that "25 years of torture led me to do the unthinkable" and "I carried through on my plan".

It was seized by police from Martin's workplace in Esk sometime after his arrest in March 2015.

Mr Campbell told the jury the letter was tantamount to an admission of guilt.

But in interviews with police he claimed that a psychologist had told him to write down "all my emotions".

"It's not what happened... it's what I feel... I write down dreams and nightmares," he allegedly told police.

The trial continues.

Topics:  editors picks lismore michael phillip martin northern rivers court northern rivers crime supreme court


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