Bluff axe attacker thought pair dead
A 28-year-old man who invaded a Bluff home and attacked two people with an axe, causing brain and other serious injuries, thought he had killed them both.
Clayton William Dixon, meat worker, of Bluff, admitted three charges before Judge John Macdonald in Invercargill District Court yesterday. Two charges were for wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and the third was for burglary, while being armed with an axe.
Judge Macdonald gave Dixon a warning under the three-strikes law and remanded him in custody to February 28 for sentence.
Police prosecutor Sergeant Denise Harvey said that at about 10.30pm on October 25, Dixon went to his 33-year-old ex-partner's home, where she was with her four children, two of which were his, and her 36-year-old partner.
The male victim went into the conservatory to have a cigarette but was immediately struck with an axe on the head. He staggered backwards into the living area and was again hit on head with the axe, the blow knocking him to the ground, she said.
The woman saw the attack and screamed at Dixon to stop. She rushed to her partner's side and put her arms over him but Dixon struck her to the head with the axe an unknown number of times, Ms Harvey said.
The woman reached her hand out to her partner on the ground but Dixon struck it with the axe causing it to break in several places, Ms Harvey said.
Dixon then returned to the man and was standing over him when associates of the victims arrived, causing Dixon to flee, she said.
Police and ambulance staff were called and Dixon was found later in Bluff. He told police he had walked down to see his ex-partner and had become infuriated after he saw the man in the house.
He admitted walking into the garden shed, taking the axe, entering the conservatory through an unlocked door and striking the man with the axe, Ms Harvey said.
Dixon said he had then blacked out and could not remember any further assault but agreed he was alone and had caused all of the injuries, she said.
The next thing he remembered was standing over the woman who was lying injured on the floor and then leaving the house. He said he went to a nearby area and attempted to commit suicide before contacting family members and police.
He thought he had killed them both, Ms Harvey said. He was remorseful.
Dixon's ex-partner suffered a compound depressed skull fracture and numerous fractures to her right hand and fingers. She was flown to Dunedin Hospital and underwent lengthy surgery.
Her long-term prognosis was uncertain but she had suffered a brain injury and could suffer long-term disabilities, Ms Harvey said.
Her hand had several screws and plates inserted and she might never gain full use of it. She also suffered bruising and two black eyes.
The man suffered a laceration to his forehead and ear, which required staples.
He also suffered bruises and might have suffered permanent hearing loss and had been having headaches. He was treated at Southland Hospital.
The children had since been cared for by family members, Ms Harvey said.
The Southland Times