Senior citizen denies taking tomahawk to ex-wife’s house and killing her new partner
A 76-year-old Perth man accused of murdering his ex-wife’s new partner, and attempting to kill her, has denied taking a knife and a tomahawk to their Yokine flat, instead claiming the pair tried to attack him.
Etem Duga is on trial in the WA Supreme Court accused of murdering Philip Fidel, 73, and attempting to murder the woman he had previously been married to for 40 years, Vickie Fidel, at the Yokine property on Shakespeare Avenue in October 2016.
Mr Duga is also charged with attempting to murder one of Mr Fidel’s neighbours and of causing bodily harm to another — both of whom the court has heard, had intervened to try to help Ms Fidel.
‘The perfect marriage’
Giving evidence in his own defence today, Mr Duga testified he believed he had “the perfect marriage” with his wife, but after he returned from a holiday to Europe, they argued and she told him she was leaving.
He said his ex-wife then came back to the family’s home in Dianella with police, and he was told he had to leave the property because she had taken out a violence restraining order against him.
Mr Duga that said some time later, while he was staying at his daughter’s, he was told Ms Fidel had “another man” and so he divorced her and “forgot” about her.
Vickie Fidel (right) leaves the court with a supporter after giving evidence last week. (ABC News: Rebecca Turner )
However, he said he did hire a private detective to find out where she was living, because he wanted to return to live in the Dianella house.
He testified he found out Ms Fidel was living at the Yokine flat, so to try to confirm that, he decided to take a box, containing what he believed was his wife’s gym towel, to the property.
Mr Duga said when he arrived Mr Fidel invited him inside the flat.
“The next minute, Vickie hear (sic) my voice and said this is my husband,” he testified.
Mr Duga told the court Mr Fidel then started arguing and fighting with him, before yelling at Ms Fidel to give him a knife.
He said Mr Fidel came at him with the weapon, but he managed to take it away before Mr Fidel then told Vickie Fidel to bring him a tomahawk.
“She tried to hit me with the axe and she ended up hitting him, two or three times … I think on the head, right-hand side.
“Then he grabbed the axe from her and he tried to hit me. I grabbed the axe and took it away from him … when I took the axe from him … I hit him.”
‘I thought they were going to kill me’
When asked how he felt at the time, Mr Duga replied he had been “terrified”.
“The two of them, I thought they were going to kill me. I was very frightened,” he said.
Mr Duga said he then went outside and down the stairs because he wanted to get back to his car to ring the police.
However, he said he was stopped by one man, who he hit in the face, because he wanted to get out of there.
“I was confused. I didn’t know what I was doing,” he said.
“I just wanted to walk away.”
He testified a second man then grabbed him and started wrestling him to the ground, but the next thing he remembers was waking up in hospital.
Mr Duga said he had not been feeling very well in the days before the incident because his diabetes was getting worse, and when he arrived at the flat on that evening he did not know what was going on.
He has denied all the charges against him.