A gambling addict bludgeoned his best friend to death and dismembered his body after the victim refused to lend him $100, WA’s Supreme Court has been told.
David John Napier, 53, has pleaded guilty to murdering Richard Andrews in his unit in the Perth suburb of Calista in August last year.
The court was told Napier attacked Mr Andrews from behind with a hammer after he became “frustrated” when the 70-year-old, who had lent him money before, denied his request for a further loan.
State prosecutor Bernard Standish said Napier left the scene but later returned and dismembered the body, including cutting off the head and the fingers, so Mr Andrews could not be identified.
Mr Standish said Napier initially stored the body parts in plastic bags in a shed at his home and doused them in bleach “to mask the smell”, but later disposed of them in Gidgegannup and Dwellingup over a six-week period.
About 70 per cent of the body had been recovered by police.
Mr Standish said Napier made “numerous visits” to Mr Andrews’ unit to clean up the scene and told neighbours he had gone to Albany on holidays.
He also drove Mr Andrews’ car and forged his signature to ensure the rent on his unit continued to be paid so people did not become suspicious.
TV show CSI provided inspiration
The court heard Napier had later told a psychologist he had watched TV shows like CSI to get ideas about how to avoid detection.
Napier’s lawyer Patti Chong said her client could not explain why he did what he did. She described the crime as “very amateurish” and said he “was always going to get caught”.
“It’s difficult to fathom how a man without a criminal record … could turn into offending in the most serious manner, in a such a cold-blooded manner,” she said.
Ms Chong said her client now suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and has dreams about Mr Andrews, whom he frequently hears calling his name.
Napier claimed he had wanted the $100 so he could buy equipment to commit suicide, but Mr Standish said it could be inferred that “the true motive was because of his parlous financial situation, because of his gambling addiction”.
The court was shown an interview with police in which Napier told them: “I just killed one of my best friends, just for f***ing money, because of my gambling.
“I am guilty. I am a piece of shit.”
Napier, who faces a life jail term, will be sentenced on Friday.