A PERTH grandfather who used a tomahawk and large knife to murder his love rival, attempted to kill his estranged wife and injured two neighbours who intervened will likely spend the rest of his life behind bars.
Etem Duga, 77, had been married to Vickie Fidel for more than 40 years when she left him, obtained a violence restraining order to keep him away from their matrimonial home and began dating 73-year-old Philip Fidel.
Duga was found guilty of murdering Mr Fidel at his Yokine unit where Ms Fidel was also living, attempting to murder Ms Fidel and John Jacobs, and endangering the life of Rupert Rudd in October 2016.
He was sentenced in the WA Supreme Court on Tuesday to life in prison, with a minimum of 20 years before he can be eligible for parole.
Justice Lindy Jenkins noted that given Duga’s age and poor health, he would likely die in prison.
But she said Duga’s ferocious and brutal attack was premeditated and motivated by feelings of jealousy, revenge, hatred and betrayal.
The court heard Duga had hired a private detective to find out where Ms Fidel was living.
Duga was wearing a fake delivery uniform and held a box when he barged into the unit after Mr Fidel opened the door.
He attacked Mr Fidel with the tomahawk and knife, causing 18 wounds including through his skull.
Duga then turned to Ms Fidel, nearly cutting off her ring finger and hitting her in the back with the tomahawk as she ran outside screaming.
He chased her and when Mr Rudd refused to get out of the way, Duga struck him in the cheek with the back of the tomahawk.
Ms Fidel ran into Mr Jacobs’ unit, where he smashed a ceramic bowl on Duga’s head after Duga stabbed him in the chest.
Mr Jacobs helped pin Duga down until police arrived.
Ms Fidel later took on her slain partner’s name.
Justice Jenkins acknowledged the bravery of the two neighbours, who she said continued to live with the trauma.
Referring to the victim impact statements from Mr Fidel’s family and Ms Fidel, Justice Jenkins said she hoped the completion of the case would help them heal.
Defence counsel Helen Prince partly blamed Duga’s failure to show remorse on his mild neurocognitive disorder.
“That would only account in a minor way for your lack of remorse,” Justice Jenkins told Duga.
She said marriage did not entitle one partner to treat the other like a piece of property and a decision to end a relationship should be respected.
Justice Jenkins said Duga’s health issues could be managed in prison, although his experience would be more arduous than most.