A battered wife who drugged and put her husband in a chest freezer claims she is the real victim.
Rebecca Payne, 43, faces life in prison after being found guilty of the sadistic murder of 68-year-old Noel Payne.
He faced off in the Victorian Supreme Court on Monday, where his lawyer Richard Edney urged Judge Rita Incerti to have mercy on his client.
Rebecca Payne, 43, claims she was abused by her husband Noel Payne
Noel Payne was drugged and put in a freezer by his wife Rebecca Payne
Rebecca Payne, a mother of three (pictured with her husband Noel), was found guilty of murder by a 12-person jury in Mildura Supreme Court on May 15 after two days of deliberation.
“This is a case where Rebecca Payne should receive mercy from her honor given what she experienced, endured at the hands of Noel Payne,” he said.
‘In this extreme and unique case, any term of imprisonment must be proportionately lower than would normally be the case for murder.
In March, a jury found Payne guilty of murdering her husband in September 2020 despite her claims that she did not actually intend to kill him.
Police alleged that Payne had knocked Mr. Payne unconscious by serving him biscuits and probably a hot cup of Milo, mixed with sleeping pills.
Medical examiners could not determine if she had died of an overdose or asphyxiation after Payne placed her body in a freezer chest and strapped it shut.
Edney said her client maintained that she did not intend to kill her husband and simply panicked after administering the poison.
The court heard that Payne had taken another lover, whose name cannot be identified for legal reasons, at the time of her death, who also lived in the family home.
Edney alleged that Payne had savagely abused both women before their deaths.
Any punishment for Rebecca Payne can only make sense if it is calibrated through the prism of family violence. In a circumstance where Noel Payne created, in this remote small town of Walpeup in western Victoria, a perverted and disturbing immoral universe in which he treated the women of that house as mere objects…for his own pleasure “, said.
The court heard that Payne claimed to have been branded with 18 tattoos of her husband’s name all over her body in a sick form of possession.
Mr Edney claimed that Mr Payne had raped and abused both women during the course of their deranged relationship.
“We have the threats, we have the physical violence, we have the sexual violence, we have financial control, we have coercive control,” he said.
Noel Payne was described in court as a brute living a double life
Kitchen clothes Rebecca Payne whipped up a deadly batch of cookies for her husband Noel
The court heard that Payne claimed that her husband had repeatedly spat on her, stared at her in the shower, and punched her in a graveyard.
“The conduct against Rebecca and (the woman) was reprehensible, obscene,” Edney said.
“He raped them, he sexually assaulted them and let’s be clear (the woman) was a young woman with an acquired brain injury.”
The court heard from the jury that convicted Payne of being forced to watch videos of some of the abuse.
In a victim impact statement, Payne’s other battered lover said she was better off without him.
He wanted me to himself. If Noel weren’t dead my life would be even worse. I hate Bec for what he has done, but life is better now than it was,” he said.
Rebecca Payne claims that she is the real victim of her husband
Like Payne, the woman had had five tattoos with her name on the most intimate parts of her body.
Places you can only see if I’m naked. He made me get this because he wouldn’t let me find anyone else. These cannot be removed, they are very dark and have thick writing,” she told the court.
Crown prosecutor David Glynn dismissed claims that Payne was nothing more than a cold-blooded murderer.
She had previously told jury that after Mr. Payne passed out, she wrapped his body in a blanket and hid it in an empty freezer in the back.
Finally, he strapped the lid on, making sure it “had no chance of escaping.”
It must have been terrifying. I just want to do that, do what she did to him. That is something that anyone who is not a psychopath, I am not suggesting that they are, would back off,” she said.
“It would require a significant degree of determination and guts to do what he did…he had that guts, he had that foresight, he had the determination, but he applied it to this purpose, which is murder, rather than a different purpose.” way in which he could have extracted himself, that is, find a way to leave that marriage.’
Payne will be sentenced next week.