You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

'Besotted' man denies girlfriend's murder

AAP logoAAP 21/10/2016 Margaret Scheikowski

A "besotted" man murdered his girlfriend, took an overdose of prescription drugs and used a felt pen to cover the bedroom wall with a suicide note, a Sydney jury has been told.

The note, written in the Farsi language, included "this lady has broken my heart", said prosecutor Tony McCarthy in the crown opening on Friday.

Shahram Hejabian, 40, has pleaded not guilty in the NSW Supreme Court to murdering Nouha Salame in April 2014 at his Doonside home in Sydney's west.

"The crown says the accused murdered Nouha Salame then attempted to commit suicide by taking an overdose of prescription drugs," Mr McCarthy said.

Defence lawyer Mark Austin said the issue would be whether, at the time Hejabian inflicted the injuries, he was in a mental state which could reduce his criminal liability to manslaughter.

After being alerted by worried relatives, police broke into the home to find Ms Salame dead in the hallway while Hejabian was in a critical condition, barely conscious, in a nearby bedroom.

Her skull was fractured from being hit on the head with something like a hammer and this, combined with asphyxia when the brain is deprived of oxygen, led to her death, Mr McCarthy said.

"The crown case is that the accused became besotted with the deceased and expressed a desire to marry her," he said.

The couple, who both were being treated for depression, began their relationship in 2011, but she stopped contact in 2013 before resuming it in 2014.

The prosecutor said he expected Hejabian's mother would give evidence about her son telling her he could not survive without Ms Salame and that she had agreed to marry him a number of times but changed her mind.

Relatives had no contact with the pair from Easter Saturday, leading the police to break into the house on the Monday night.

"In the bedroom where the accused was found, one of the walls was covered in writing in felt pen in the Persian language, Farsi," Mr McCarthy said.

"It was written by the accused, but at precisely what time is hard to say.

"The crown case is that it represented in effect a suicide note from the accused."

The words included: "She kept changing her words, say I love you then I did not".

It ended with: "I love my mother, my child and this lady. Farewell".

Mr Austin said the jurors would hear evidence about Hejabian's mental condition at the time and about his background, which included being tortured in his home country.

The trial is continuing.

Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467.

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon