Evie Amati has been sentenced to nine years in prison for attempted murder after randomly attacking two people at a convenience store with an axe in inner-Sydney.
The transgender woman was found guilty by a jury last August of two counts of wounding with intent to murder and one count of attempted wounding with intent to murder.
Security camera vision captured Amati using a two-kilogram axe to hit Ben Rimmer in the face and Sharon Hacker in the back of the head inside the Enmore store in January 2017.
The 26-year-old then swung the axe twice at another man, Shane Redwood, outside the store.
Judge Mark Williams in his sentence described the attack as “a very serious and confronting episode”.
“The risk of death was high in each cases and the fact that death did not occur was entirely a matter of good fortune,” he said.
Toxic mix of medication and drugs
Amati pleaded not guilty on mental health grounds and said she was not sound of mind due to a toxic mix of hormone medication, cannabis, amphetamines and alcohol.
On the day of the attack, Amati matched with Mickila Jansen on the dating app Tinder and met with her and her housemates later in the evening where they consumed drugs and alcohol.
Amati said she became “incredibly anxious” and went into a depressive episode after she realised the group had identified her as transgender.
She said she had put her leg against Ms Jansen to “test the waters”, but Ms Jansen recoiled “not as … a natural kind of readjustment as if she was burned [but] as if she’d touched a leper or someone that was infected”.
Ms Jansen messaged Amati later, who expressed feelings of anger and rejection.
The conversation ended at 1.31am and at 2am Amati armed herself with an axe and an 18-centimetre knife before making her way to the 7-Eleven.
Amati said she did not have memory of the attack but recalled feelings of homicidal rage and expressed remorse throughout the trial.
Judge Williams considered Amati’s underlying mental health problems, including a history of suicidal thoughts and gender dysphoria, in his sentencing.
He said “the chaos and disorder in her mind” was a mitigating factor in Amati’s favour but did not minimise the seriousness of the attack or the victims’ suffering.
“There is merit in that position, but not sufficient merit to detract from the conclusion that this is a case in which a significant period of full-time imprisonment is required,” Judge Williams said.
With time already served Amati is eligible for parole in July 2021.