ACT News

Aleksander Vojneski 'used cycle of violence' before girlfriend's murder

Aleksander Vojneski used a recurring cycle of violence, break-ups, threats of self-harm, and reconciliation with his girlfriend in the tumultuous final six months before her violent murder, prosecutors say.

The murder trial of Vojneski, 31, is now entering its final stages after five weeks of evidence in the ACT Supreme Court.

He is accused of stabbing his partner Paula Conlon to death in her Macgregor home in March 2012, after a six month relationship that formed in a psychiatric unit at Calvary Hospital the previous October.

The last of the evidence was heard on Wednesday, before Crown prosecutor Shane Drumgold began his closing address to the jury.

He began by detailing the history of Vojneski, who started using cannabis at age nine, and drinking significantly at 14.

Vojneski, the court heard, also had a history of mental health problems, ice use, and alleged violence.

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The accused was also said to have a history with knives, including the stabbing of his sister's boyfriend at a barbecue, and threatening a former girlfriend and a neighbour with knives.

He also attacked his own mother, the Crown said, and a police officer gave evidence that he saw Vojneski  with a "thousand mile stare" afterwards.

Mr Drumgold said Vojneski's life was controlled by drugs and that his mother said he became angry if he didn't get them.

Vojneski's mother and brother gave him money, often in the early hours of the morning, fearing the consequences of him not having drugs, Mr Drumgold said.

"This was a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation," he said.

Mr Drumgold said the court would never get to hear from Ms Conlon.

But he said a lot could be told about her from footprints she had left behind.

The mother of three had moved to Australia more than a decade ago with her husband Scott.

She enjoyed Zumba, boxercise, soccer, and parties with other mothers including for Avon and fragrance candles.

She worked as a carer for children.

That all changed in April 2011, Mr Drumgold said, when she broke up with her husband.

"In the first six months she was very much in mourning for a life she had lost," he said.

She became lonely, and rapidly deteriorated, eventually overdosing on prescription painkillers.

Ms Conlon was admitted to Ward 2n, a psychiatric unit at Calvary Hospital in October 2011.

"Then the accused entered her life for its final tumultuous six months," Mr Drumgold said.

The relationship, the Crown said, was marked by a recurring theme.

"There was violence, there was a break-up, there were threats of self-harm, and then Paula would give in," he said.

At one point, Vojneski allegedly threatened Ms Conlon with a knife.

Evidence was also given by her friends that she was seen with bruises, spoke of getting into fights with Vojneski, and was held over a balcony by the accused.

Despite this, Mr Drumgold said she was constantly apologising for Vojneski, and was always concerned about him.

The Crown's closing address to the jury will continue on Thursday in the ACT Supreme Court before Justice John Burns.

It is expected to look at the events of the night of the murder, what occurred the next day, the forensic evidence, and the absence of an alternative explanation.

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