A mum who drugged her husband and slung him into a chest freezer where he died, claims it’s her that’s the actual victim. Rebecca Payne could be given a life sentence after being found guilty of the brutal murder of 68-year-old Noel Payne. The mum-of-two faced Victoria’s Supreme Court on Monday where barrister Richard Edney asked the Judge, Justice Rita Incerti, to be lenient on his client, 43.
He said: “This is a case where Rebecca Payne should be shown mercy by your honour given what she experienced, and endured at the hands of Noel Payne.
“In this extreme and unique case, any term of imprisonment should be proportionately lower than would ordinarily be the case for murder.”
Police alleged Payne had plied Mr Payne with sleeping pills, by serving him biscuits, and probably a hot cup of Milo. She was found guilty of murder in March.
Forensic specialists were unable to determine whether his cause of death was an overdose or suffocation.
The court heard that Mr Payne had got a new lover, who cannot be named, that lived in the house with them.
Mr Edney said he abused both women before his death: “Any punishment for Rebecca Payne can only make sense if it’s calibrated within that prism of family violence.
“In the circumstance where Noel Payne created, in this remote western Victoria small town of Walpeup, a perverted and disturbing immoral universe where he treated the women of that house as mere objects … for his own pleasure.
“We have the threats, we have the physical violence, we have the sexual violence, we have the financial control, we have the coercive control”.
He added: “The conduct against both Rebecca and (the woman) was reprehensible, obscene.
“He raped them, sexually assaulted them and let’s be clear (the woman) was a young woman with an acquired brain injury.”
In a sick twist the court heard how both women had been branded with tattoos of Mr Payne’s name, all over their bodies.
Payne was tattooed 18 times, while the other lover was branded five times.
Mr Payne’s other battered lover claimed she was better off without him in a victim impact statement.
She said: “He wanted to keep me all for himself. If Noel wasn’t dead my life would still be worse. I hate Bec for what she’s done but life is now better than it was.”
Payne’s son Jamie told the Herald Sun that his mum’s punishment was living with Mr Payne.
He said: “She lived for 14 years in hell with a monster.”
Crown Prosecutor David Glynn claimed Payne was a cold-blooded killer.
He told the court: “It would require a significant degree of determination and grit to do what she did … she had that grit, she had that foresight, she had the determination, but she applied it to this purpose, that is murder, rather than a different way that she could have extracted herself, namely working out a way to leave that marriage.”
Payne will be sentenced next week.
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