I didn't intend to kill, murder jury told

News, Crime

An elderly man on trial for angrily murdering his ex-wife's new boyfriend with an axe says he carried the weapon in his car in case people attacked him.

Cabramatta West man Thanh Tran, 79, admits repeatedly striking Pok Min Fah to the head with the axe after knocking him down with his car on March 14, 2019.

But he denies a charge of murder, arguing his judgment was substantially impaired due to a loss of control caused by trauma from his lived experience of Cambodian dictator Pol Pot's regime.

During evidence in his NSW Supreme Court trial on Tuesday, he explained why the axe was in the boot of his car.

“Other people might assault me, I could use that to protect myself,” he said, through an interpreter.

Mr Fah was killed moments after leaving Tran's former marital home, having had dinner with Tran's former wife and adult children. He carried a ladder from the home.

Tran lived in a unit in a nearby street and, before the homicide, was seated in his car opposite the marital home.

He told the jury on Tuesday he'd been “very angry” when Mr Fah left the home with the ladder.

But he didn't agree with the Crown's assertion that anger was based on his belief Mr Fah had “wrecked your marriage”.

He collided with Mr Fah without knowing who he was, and then acted in self-defence, he said.

“I was protecting myself because there was no one else around and I could only protect myself,” Tran said on Tuesday.

He denied holding an intention to kill Mr Fah when repeatedly striking his head with an axe.

“No … I was focusing on hitting him,” Tran said.

“I was very angry, I didn't think about that at that time.”

The Crown and Tran's lawyers will make closing addresses to the jury on Wednesday.

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