Etem Duga found guilty of murdering ex-wife’s boyfriend
A GRANDFATHER accused of dressing as a courier and attacking his former wife’s new partner with a tomahawk and knife has been found guilty of murder.
Etem Duga killed Philip Fidel, 73, and tried to kill his ex-wife Vickie Fidel, 66, after he turned up at the couple’s home while wearing high-vis and carrying a box in October 2016.
Two good Samaritans, Rupert Rudd and John Jacobs, tried to intervene as Duga chased Ms Fidel outside the unit with a weapon in each hand.
Mr Rudd copped a tomahawk to his face for his trouble and Mr Jacobs was stabbed before he overpowered Duga and wrestled him to the ground.
Duga claimed he was attacked by Mr and Ms Fidel when he went to the unit to drop off a towel, arguing he was acting in self-defence he when he hit Mr Fidel with the tomahawk.
But after a seven-day trial and about three hours of deliberations, a Supreme Court jury convicted the 76-year-old of murder, two counts of attempted murder and causing bodily harm with intent.
Mr Fidel had 18 sharp force injuries when he died, including one that went through his skull.
Duga testified Ms Fidel accidentally hit Mr Fidel about three times with the axe during the struggle and said he hit the victim once with the weapon to defend himself.
The father-of-two had been married to Ms Fidel for 40 years before they split and she took out a restraining order against him.
He hired a private detective in a bid to find out where Ms Fidel was living in the lead-up to the murder.
Duga gave evidence he did this because the restraining order prevented him from returning to his Dianella home and he wanted to prove Ms Fidel no longer lived there.
He described his marriage to Ms Fidel as perfect, but she told the jury her former husband had subjected her to unbelievable verbal abuse and threatened her with a knife.
Ms Fidel told the jury her former husband’s threats continued up until the moment she was escorted to an ambulance after the murder.
“As I passed him he said, ‘Don’t worry, I’ll come back to kill you, too’, and all the police heard it,” she said.
Prosecutor Simon Freitag said Mr Duga was carrying a big cardboard box and was wearing what might be considered a mock-up delivery uniform when he went to the unit.
But Duga said he had been gardening earlier in the day and was wearing rainproof clothes that prevented him from getting dirty.
Duga will be sentenced next year.