Wife allegedly shouted "die" during hammer attack on husband
A SOUTH BURNETT woman allegedly shouted "die, die, die" while repeatedly smashing a hammer into her husband's head in the study where he had been investigating her gambling debts.
Kay Te Atarangi Lyons, 54, allegedly told husband David, who was dripping with blood, she called an ambulance while "stalking" him with the hammer around their Wattle Camp home after the initial attack in their study.
Phone records show she never made those calls.
Her husband, aged 67, managed to flag down neighbours and ended up in Princess Alexandra Hospital with skull fractures exposing his brain.
The Crown would not accept Mrs Lyons' plea of guilty to malicious act with intent, instead pressing ahead with an attempted murder charge.
Mrs Lyons is now facing a trial, before Chief Justice Tim Carmody, in Brisbane Supreme Court after pleading not guilty to the more serious offence.
One neighbour is expected to tell the court how Mrs Lyons - who had blood smeared across her face and had blood spatters on her jacket - was muttering, sometimes indistinctly, after the incident on June 4 last year.
"I'm in big trouble. I just snapped. I don't remember doing it until I had the hammer in my hand," Mrs Lyons allegedly told her.
Mrs Lyons, in a recorded conversation with police at the roadside, said she had been the victim of abuse, including "strange intimate things which I am not altogether fond" because she was told it would "make things more exciting".
"It just made me feel like I was less than nothing," she said.
Mr Lyons was 31, and had three children to a previous marriage, when he started seeing his wife, aged 18, in New Zealand.
They moved to Australia in 2005 and had a daughter together.
Mr Lyons had learned his wife, who had twice racked up $10,000 credit card debts through gambling, lied about losing their daughter to delay debts they owed through their cleaning business.
Mrs Lyons told police she planned to kill her husband and then herself.
She said she had tried "really, really hard to be good" but could not take the mental abuse anymore.
"He wouldn't hit me … because it leaves bruises and evidence, but he's quite a big man and he would hold my arms up and lie on top of me so I couldn't breathe," she said.
"It's all private, nobody sees it.
"I don't know what happened, I just cracked.
"I'm a very bad person.
"He's the one with the temper but … I finally gave into the rage."
Crown prosecutor Sal Vasta told the jury that Ms Lyons was allegedly circling her husband, always just a few metres away, waiting for him to become more vulnerable so she could continue her attack.
He said the jury should note that Mrs Lyons had crushed painkillers into tea and tried to feed it to him the night before the attack but he had tasted them and tipped the tea out.
"None of us ever really know what goes on within a marriage because that's really between a husband and wife," he said.
"What we can see externally may be different internally.
"The Crown says, realistically, whatever the reason for Kay Lyons attacking her husband, one thing is abundantly clear, that when she used this hammer to hit him on the head three or four times, she intended to kill him."
Defence barrister Don MacKenzie asked the jury to focus on whether the Crown could prove beyond reasonable doubt that his client intended to murder her husband.
He said they could draw alternate inferences to the Crown case.
"There is no issue to the grievous bodily harm here, that's accepted," he said.
"It's just on this simple point of what was her intention at the time of the assault?"
The trial continues.