A jury has watched dramatic CCTV vision of the moment two people were hit with an axe inside a Sydney convenience store at two o'clock in the morning.
Evie Amati, 26, is on trial in the New South Wales District Court over the incident, which took place at a 7-Eleven store in the inner Sydney suburb of Enmore in the early hours of January 7, 2017.
Customers Ben Rimmer and Sharon Hacker were struck with the axe at the store and suffered injuries, while a third man, Shane Redwood, narrowly avoided getting hit on the street outside by wielding his backpack as a shield, the court heard.
Amati has pleaded not guilty to six charges, including two of wounding or causing grievous bodily harm with intent to murder, with her barrister arguing she was experiencing a mental illness at the time.
The footage was played to the jury of eight men and four women on Tuesday afternoon.
It shows Rimmer entering the store, and then Amati walking across the carpark to the 7-Eleven holding the axe.
Amati is seen entering the store and walking around the shelves in the footage, before having a brief conversation with Rimmer as Hacker makes a purchase.
She is then seen swinging the axe, hitting Rimmer in the face, and then Hacker in the back of the head.
A second swing misses Hacker, but partially cut the strap of her bag, the court heard.
After Amati exits the store, Rimmer can be seen standing up with blood dripping from his face.
In opening arguments on Monday, Amati’s barrister Charles Waterstreet said there was “no doubt” the CCTV footage showed Amati's body carrying out the attack, but the question for the jury is "whether the mind, brain, or soul of Evie Amati holds any legal or moral responsibility for the body’s actions that night".
Amati looked at the screen as the CCTV footage was played to the jury, physically recoiling as she watched herself take the first swing at Rimmer.
As it was played from a second camera angle, she recoiled again at the swing and then started to cry.
Giving evidence on Monday, Rimmer said the swing at his head – which left a 10cm laceration across his face and fractured his nose, cheek and eye socket – came “out of the blue”.
"Then I stood up and all the blood, bleeding profusely, it wouldn’t stop. And that’s when I started to panic. I thought I would bleed out,” he said.
Hacker said she was leaving the store when she heard a whooshing sound behind her head.
“And then I became aware of a sensation of falling and a really, really strong [force] hitting my head. I opened my eyes and I saw a woman with blonde hair, early twenties, roughly 5 foot 6 … who was carrying an axe,” she said.
"That’s when I realised, OK, I’ve just been struck in the head with an axe!"
Hacker was left with a fractured skull and ongoing nerve pain, leaving her unable to sleep for more than three hours at a time, she said.
Prosecutor Daniel McMahon said Hacker's thick dreadlocks had acted as a sort of shield against the axe, preventing a more serious injury.
The trial continues before Judge Mark Williams.
Lane Sainty is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Sydney, Australia.
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