A man who slit an elderly woman’s throat in a violent home altercation while he was purchasing a printer has tried to claim he was affected by “paint fumes” at the time of the attack.
Adam Curtis Brown was at a loss to explain his actions three and a half years ago, when he left a man and his 82-year-old mother with serious injuries on Queensland’s Fraser Coast.
A court was told the man thought he was going to die after suffering a critical stab wound.
“They were completely innocent,” Brisbane Supreme Court justice Peter Davis told Brown on Friday.
Brown, 43, was intoxicated by “pills and alcohol” when he viciously maimed the pair with a utility knife at their home in Wondunna, north of Brisbane, on April 27, 2018.
The Port Macquarie man had driven more than 800km to the Hervey Bay suburb, travelling through Yamba to purchase a printer which victims were selling.
Once at the home, Brown met with the woman’s son but became “agitated”.
He then used the knife to stab the man in the neck, crown prosecutor Chris Cook said.
As he attempted to flee, Brown turned on the man’s elderly mother, slashing at her hand as he was tackled to the ground.
“(The woman) continued to plead for him to stop. He raised the knife and slashed her neck,” Mr Cook said.
Mr Cook said Brown then hurled a star picket at the male victim as he ran outside which bruised his stomach.
The court was told Brown couldn’t explain the bizarre scope of his actions when he was arrested.
He initially claimed he might have been affected by “paint fumes” at the time of the attack, but a forensic medical officer determined this couldn’t have affected Brown.
“There was sustained, senseless violence,” Mr Cook said.
“The victims were unsuspecting and given no real opportunity to defend themselves.”
Brown was initially charged with attempted murder but earlier this year he pleaded guilty to two counts of malicious act with intent and one count each of wounding and assault occasioning actual bodily harm while armed.
James Godbolt, Brown’s defence barrister, said his client’s actions were “bizarre” and “out of character”.
Mr Godbolt said Brown had no intention to harm the victims when he attended their property.
“The evidence … supports the proposition that the intention was only arrived at because of Brown’s altered state from the ingestion of the drugs,” he said.
Justice Davis ultimately handed down a head sentence of nine years’ jail, with a serious violent offender declaration.
His time spent in pre-sentence custody since April 2018 was declared as time served.