Husband faces court after axe attack

28 March 2017

Written by: Fiona Villella

Man responsible for assaulting former wife in Melbourne shopping centre has been charged with attempted murder.

A 45-year-old Clyde North man is facing nine charges including attempted murder after savagely attacking his estranged wife inside Westfield Fountain Gate shopping centre, Narre Warren yesterday morning.

The police allege the man walked through the shopping centre carrying an axe in a shopping bag before proceeding to strike the woman a number of times at her workplace, The Beauty and Brow Parlour, in one of Melbourne’s major shopping centres.

Owner of the beauty parlour, Hasan Zaman, told the ABC that shocked staff acted immediately, calling security and the police.

Zaman commented on how the public nature of the attack may have prevented it from becoming any worse.

“It was lucky it was in the shopping centre, we could take immediate action”, he said.

The man faced an out-of-sessions hearing at Narre Warren police station where his request for bail was denied.

He was remanded in custody overnight and is due to appear at the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court later today.

Zaman told Fairfax Media the victim of the attack, a mother of two in her 30s, had recently separated from her husband.

The attack sent shock waves through the shopping centre with employees and customers fearing the worst.

Cafe worker, Naomi, bore witness to the traumatic image of the woman lying on the floor with blood on her head. “It makes me feel sick. Everyone feels sick”, she told the ABC.

Store assistant, Tamar Klein, told the ABC panic spread as two girls ran screaming from the shop where the incident occurred.

“One of them was screaming ‘had an axe! Had an axe!’ So we didn’t know what was going on”, she said. “These days you imagine if it is a terror attack. You don’t know if it is between two people or if they will hurt more people”.

Police cordoned off the site of the attack for investigation.

The victim sustained upper-body injuries and was taken to The Alfred Hospital where she remains in a serious but stable condition. Her employer told the ABC that she “was so badly beaten she could not speak after the attack”.

He has confirmed his continued support: “We’ll be doing everything we can as a company, employer and my employees to be beside her and make sure she gets better”.