A battered woman who drugged her husband and put it in a chest freezer claims she’s the real victim.
Rebecca Payne, 43, faces life in prison after being found guilty of the sadistic murder of Noel Payne, 68.
She appeared before Victoria’s Supreme Court on Monday, where her 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
Mother of three, Rebecca Payne (pictured with husband Noel), was found guilty of murder by a 12-member jury in Mildura Supreme Court on May 15 after two days of deliberation
“This is a case where Rebecca Payne should be shown mercy by your honor, given what she’s been through, endured at the hands of Noel Payne,” he said.
“In this extreme and unique case, any prison sentence must be proportionate 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 intend to kill him.
Police alleged that Payne knocked Mr. Payne cold by serving him biscuits, and probably a hot cup of Milo laced with sleeping pills.
Forensic doctors were unable to determine whether he had died of an overdose or asphyxia after Payne placed his body in a chest freezer and tied it shut.
Mr Edney said his client claimed she had no intention of killing her husband and that she simply panicked after administering the poison to him.
The court heard that at the time of his death Mr Payne had taken on another lover, who cannot be named for legal reasons, who also lived in the family home.
Mr Edney alleged that Mr Payne brutally abused both women leading up to his death.
“Any punishment for Rebecca Payne can only make sense if it is calibrated within that prism of domestic violence. In the event that in this remote town of Walpeup in western Victoria, Noel Payne created a perverted and disturbingly immoral universe where he treated the women of that house as mere objects…for his own pleasure,” he 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 alleged that Mr Payne raped and abused both women during their deranged relationship.
“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 said.
Noel Payne was described in court as a brute who led a double life
The Kitchen Wear Rebecca Payne cooked a deadly batch of cookies for her husband Noel
The court heard Payne claim that her husband spat on her repeatedly, watched her in the shower, and beat her in a graveyard.
“The behavior towards both Rebecca and (the woman) was reprehensible, obscene,” Mr Edney said.
“He raped them, sexually assaulted them and let’s be clear (the woman) was a young woman with acquired brain damage.”
The court heard the jury that convict Payne was forced to watch videos of some of that abuse.
In a victim impact statement, Mr. Payne’s other abused lover said she was better off without him.
He wanted to keep me all to himself. If Noel wasn’t dead, my life would be even worse. I hate Bec for what she did, but life is better now than it was,” she said.
Rebecca Payne claims she is her husband’s real victim
Like Payne, the woman had five tattoos of his name on the most intimate parts of her body.
“Places you can only see when I’m naked. He let me get this one because he didn’t want me to find someone else. These cannot be removed, they are written very dark and thick,” she told the court.
Prosecutor David Glynn rejected claims that Payne was anything but a cold-blooded killer.
He had previously told the jury that after Mr. Payne passed out, she wrapped his body in a blanket and stowed him in the back of an empty chest freezer.
Finally, she tied the lid with straps so that he “had no chance of escape.”
“It must have been awful. I just mean to do that, to do what she did to him. That’s something I think anyone who wasn’t a psychopath — I’m not suggesting she is — would shrink from,” he said.
“It would take a considerable amount of determination and persistence to do what she did…she had that persistence, she had that foresight, she had the determination, but she applied it to this goal, which was murder, instead of any other target. way she could have gotten herself out of it, which was to figure out a way to get out of that marriage.”
Payne will be sentenced next week.