WARNING: The content of this story may be distressing.
Police believe a 35-year-old Melbourne man who allegedly “slaughtered” then mutilated his wife in front of their three children, murdered her because she did not want him to go to Syria to join Islamic State.
The man – who cannot be identified for legal reasons – was arrested and charged in July 2016 with the murder of his wife at his Broadmeadows’ home.
The police also found his three young children suffering from head injuries. The children were taken to Royal Children’s Hospital where they told police they had witnessed their father “slaughtering” their mother with a knife in the lounge room.
At the accused killer's committal hearing on Thursday, a magistrates' court heard the children are now in the care of child protection services and are highly disturbed.
The ABC reports that the man wrapped the body in electrical tape and a doona before putting her body in the boot of the family car. He dumped the body and then took his children, who were also in the car, to a bakery to buy pastries.
The body of the 27-year-old mother was found by a jogger in Melbourne's north last year. Forensic analysis revealed the body had two severed fingers, a missing right eye and deep cuts to the face, legs and lower back.
The prosecution summary alleged the man told his brother-in-law he had fought with his wife over his desire to go to Syria to fight for Islamic State and had sliced her hand with a knife when she objected.
In the months before her death, it is alleged the man isolated his wife and their children. She was not allowed to leave the house, speak to her family or watch television. He erected a tarp on the fence around the backyard to stop neighbours from seeing into their property, according to the prosecution summary.
The prosecution summary says the children had never attended school and only spoke broken English. "He wanted to teach them about guns, swords, war and jihad," the prosecution summary stated.
The committal hearing is expected to conclude on Monday when a magistrate will decide if there is enough evidence to send him to trial.