Court workers tell of ‘horror movie scream’ as woman died
WORKERS at a Perth court where a woman was fatally stabbed during a mediation session with her ex-partner have described the horrific scene, with some weeping as they testified at his trial.
Paul Gary Turner, 43, was charged with murder after he allegedly stabbed Sarah Marie Thomas five times, including three times in her neck, at Joondalup Justice Complex in December 2016.
The 33-year-old also suffered a slash across her left index finger, which a forensic pathologist described as a typical defensive wound.
Administration worker Crystal Sudholz told the Supreme Court of WA on Tuesday she heard muffled yelling then a “horror movie scream”.
She said she then saw a registrar run out of a conference room, shout for security and an ambulance.
Turner walked out of the room, slid against a wall to the floor, put his hands in his lap and “stared into thin air”, Ms Sudholz said.
“There was such panic,” she said.
Customer service officer Jennifer Daniels said the registrar was distraught while Turner was “quite calmly just sitting there”.
Two security guards ran into the room and found Ms Thomas on all fours, with blood gushing out of her wounds, mouth and nose.
They pressed their hands to her neck in a bid to stem the bleeding.
“I kept telling her don’t close her eyes and stay with me,” one of the guards said, weeping.
Both said the estimated six minutes it took for paramedics to arrive felt like an eternity.
The court previously heard Ms Thomas had gained custody of two children she had with Turner about one week before the mediation session, which was about his claim she owed him money.
Moments before the attack, she declined to make an offer.
Prosecutor James Mactaggart alleges Turner had hidden the knife on him.
Defence counsel Lisa Boston did not give an opening address when the trial opened last week.