A judge has been asked to consider a killer’s traumatic upbringing, which included watching his father shot dead and stints of homelessness, slavery and sex abuse.
Former court security guard Isac Ayoul Daing, 36, of Ascot Vale, has pleaded guilty to murdering Maryanne Sikai, 41, who died from blunt force trauma in March 2014.
Defence barrister Sarah Keating asked Victorian Supreme Court Justice Terry Forrest to consider Daing’s post-traumatic stress syndrome, saying Daing had overcome a background of disadvantage.
Daing was born in southern Sudan, where civil war broke out when he was eight.
While fleeing gunfire he was separated from his mother and four brothers and watched his father die, Ms Keating told the court.
“His father was shot in the back right in front of him,” she said.
“He stopped to help, his father told him to run.”
Daing fled to a city 75km from his community, where he washed dishes in a restaurant to feed himself.
He developed a rapport with a soldier who invited Daing, then nine-years-old, to live with his family.
But the soldier treated Daing like a slave and eventually started to rape him at knife point, Ms Keating said.
Daing escaped but was forced into military training, from which he fled to Cairo.
He came to Australia in 2005, spent a year in Baxter Detention Centre and later met Ms Sikai.
In a pre-sentencing hearing on Friday, Crown Prosecutor Andrew Tinney said Daing was jealous and controlling and told a friend of Ms Sikai that “one of us will leave this Earth”.
The night before Ms Sikai died, Daing broke down her door, and, after they fought the following morning, smashed a chair over her body and beat her with a piece of it, Mr Tinney said.
Ms Sikai suffered multiple face and skull fractures.
Shortly after the attack, Daing walked into the Sunshine police station saying he had killed his girlfriend.
Ms Sikai’s tearful relatives asked for justice to be “fully served” for the crime.
In a victim impact statement read to the court, Ms Sikai’s mother said her daughter’s death had completely shut-down her life.
“My heart weeps and bleeds every day,” she said.
“She was my baby and my pride.”
Daing will be sentenced at a later date.