Sydney 7-Eleven axe attack accused Evie Amati caught on CCTV
A jury has been played dramatic security camera vision of a young woman attacking two people with an axe inside a Sydney 7-Eleven.
The video was played at the NSW District Court trial of Evie Amati, 26, who is accused of grievous bodily harm with intent to murder over the attack in January last year.
Ms Amati does not dispute the attack happened, but has pleaded not guilty because she says she was mentally ill at the time.
The security camera vision shows Ms Amati walking calmly into the 7-Eleven store in Enmore about 2:15am with a 45-centimetre-long axe in her hands and earphones in her ears.
She then does a lap of the store before coming to the counter and speaking to customer Ben Rimmer, who was waiting to pay for a meat pie.
After a brief conversation, Ms Amati raises the axe and swings it into Mr Rimmer’s face.
As he falls to the ground and begins bleeding profusely, she then steps towards another customer, Sharon Hacker, who had been buying milk.
She hits Ms Hacker in the back of the head causing her to fall forward on to the footpath just outside the store’s automatic doors.
The security cameras then captures Ms Amati leaving the store and walking calmly towards the road.
A couple of the jury members recoiled slightly when they saw the impact of the axe hitting Mr Rimmer and Ms Hacker.
The ABC has chosen to show only part of this footage.
As Ms Amati watched the video play she wiped away tears and put her hand over her mouth.
Witness still traumatised
Earlier, a man who saw the ambush, told the court that Ms Amati approached him after the attack with blood dripping from the axe.
“I saw what appeared to be fighting inside … so I pulled out my phone in case I needed to record or call police,” Nathan Wood told the court.
“Shortly after pulling out my phone I saw a person inside the shop raise an object over their head and swing down with it and that’s when I saw a body hit the floor and blood splatter.
“I saw then a second body collapse to the floor and I saw her exiting the building with the dripping axe and begin approaching myself.”
Mr Wood described the way Ms Amati moved towards him as “slow, steady and deliberate” and said when she was a few metres away from him she raised the axe.
“I realised that she was intending to do harm so I made a mad dash to the end of the block … and hit send on the call to Triple 0,” he said.
“When I got to the end of the block I turned around to see if she was in pursuit and I saw a homeless man was right behind me and I watched her take a swing with the axe at him.”
It has been 18 months since the incident and Mr Wood said he was is still undergoing “post-trauma therapy”.
“I’m even dealing with flashbacks — it’s just this memory of locking eyes with her under the light of the petrol pumps, with her coming at me and then me trying to get away,” he said.
‘She was out of her mind’
Earlier, crown prosecutor Daniel McMahon told the jury the accused had previously spoken about fantasies of killing people and just one hour before the attack sent a message to a Facebook friend saying “most people deserve to die, I hate people and one day I am going to kill a lot of people”.
Defence barrister Charles Waterstreet told the jury his client never intended to kill anyone and was not of sound mind that night.
He added that she was in a state of psychosis at the time of the attack, which was caused by her mental illness and a “toxic mixture” of gender transition hormone medication, cannabis, amphetamines and alcohol.
“The CCTV captures the body of Evie Amati, it captures it from the time she entered the 7-Eleven to the time she left, so the question you have to decide is where was her mind?” Mr Waterstreet told the jury.
Ms Amati cried as the jury was told about her gender dysmorphia, depression and the difficulty she had following gender reassignment surgery from man to woman.
“Her mind had deteriorated to such a state that in the early hours of the evening on the 7th of January she was out of her mind,” Mr Waterstreet said.
The trial before Judge Mark Williams is expected to run for three weeks.