Western Australia Criminal Defence Attorney, Richard Lawson, represented defendant, Mark McLean, in a high-profile Supreme Court sentencing hearing.
McLean previously pled guilty to the charge of “with intent unlawfully to kill, committed an act or omission likely to endanger human life”. During the hearing, Mr Lawson explained to the court the emotions behind his client’s actions.
The 32-year-old McLean met the 19-year-old Balcatta woman online, and the pair began a relationship. Attorney Lawson told the court that during the course of the couple’s four-month-long relationship McLean fell ‘madly in love’ with the 19-year-old.
McLean felt cracks in the relationship as he realised his girlfriend did not share the same level of intense feelings for him as he did for her. McLean was intent and even desperate to hold the relationship together. However, the harder McLean tried to win over the 19-year-old, the more uncertain she became.
The considerable age difference between the couple had both parties on paths that were quite divergent. McLean was interested in settling down whereas his girlfriend was enjoying her life.
When the woman told McLean that she wanted to date other people, he became severely distraught, exhibited irrational actions, and started using meth. McLean’s volatile behaviour ‘spiralled out of control’ when he discovered the woman was pregnant and that she did not want a relationship or a baby.
Lead-Up to the Crime
McLean attempted suicide, slicing his wrists in front of the woman. She drove him to the hospital for medical attention. The next morning, McLean checked himself out of the medical facility and went to the 19-year-old’s home. At the time he arrived at the Balcatta home, McLean was under the influence of methamphetamine, MDMA and diazepam. At this time, he threatened her with a knife but calmed and left the property.
McLean was calm a short time later when he returned to the woman’s home but became violent when the victim told him: “I can’t do this anymore, you are too full-on.”
McLean attacked the woman with a knife he had hidden, stabbing her in the chest, choking her, and throwing her body onto a footpath. McLean then fled, but CCTV recorded his actions.
Result of the Hearing
Mr Lawson diligently performed his duty of upholding the right to a fair trial.
Following the hearing, Mark McLean received a sentence of nine years.