An ice user accused of stabbing his possibly pregnant partner to death in a frenzied attack in her Macgregor home has gone on trial in the ACT Supreme Court.
The Crown says Aleksander Vojneski, 31, a psychologically volatile and violent drug user, was overcome by a "pressure cooker" of building tensions when he murdered Canberra mother-of-three Paula Conlon, 30, in 2012.
It was a relationship that began in troubled surrounds, the pair first meeting in a psychiatric ward in October 2011.
Ms Conlon was recovering from a marriage break-up and a prescription drug overdose, and the Crown says Vojneski was being treated for drug-induced psychosis.
Months later, on the night of 27 March, 2012, Vojneski was with Ms Conlon at her northside home.
It is alleged Vojneski was becoming frustrated by a string of unsuccessful attempts to get drugs. Vojneski had allegedly been drinking, which the Crown will argue tended to make him violent, and had used drugs the previous day.
But he had no money, the Crown said, and became increasingly desperate as he failed to arrange drugs on credit.
Leading up to that night, Ms Conlon, believing she was pregnant, appeared to be trying to wean Vojneski off drugs to turn their lives around.
Evidence also suggests she had just spent $115, the last of her money, on clothes from an online shop.
Ms Conlon was found dead the next afternoon with 11 stab wounds, lying on a single bed in her bedroom.
No one directly witnessed the events of that night. But the Crown says a receipt for the clothes was found ripped up in Ms Conlon's kitchen sink.
Right next to the sink and the torn receipt, a chef's knife was allegedly missing from its block.
Ms Conlon's violent death occurred while a 16-year-old boy played an online computer game in another room of the house.
The teenager was boarding with Ms Conlon, but had two sets of earphones on at the time the killing is alleged to have taken place.
The Crown says, despite the headphones, he heard an argument, a loud, high-pitched scream and Ms Conlon saying "no, no, no".
On Monday afternoon, defence barrister Jack Pappas urged the jury to suspend their judgment and listen to all of the evidence, reminding them Vojneski was presumed to be innocent.
"Conjecture, suspicion, guess work, theory; none of that is a substitute for proof beyond reasonable doubt," he said.
"We are not interested in theorising, we're interested in evidence."
Mr Pappas said Vojneski had suffered mental health problems, but was receiving antipsychotic drugs at the time of the killing.
"Within the limits of his mental illness, it seems he and Paula Conlon were trying to make a go of their relationship," he said.
Mr Pappas also criticised the Crown's attempts to establish anger over a lack of drugs as a motive, saying Vojneski's parents usually gave him money for such substances when he needed it.
Crown prosecutor Shane Drumgold began his opening to the Supreme Court jury on Monday morning, spending hours outlining the circumstantial case against Vojneski for the murder.
Mr Drumgold described Vojneski's violent tendencies before March 2012, which included stabbing his sister's partner "completely out of the blue" and punching his mother in the face.
He is also accused of violence towards Ms Conlon before the murder and towards prison guards while on remand for the alleged crime.
"When he becomes angry, he becomes violent and he has a tendency to use knives," Mr Drumgold said.
The trial is expected to hear evidence from more than 150 witnesses and continues on Tuesday before Justice John Burns.