‘Dave saved my life’: Family and friends of Raywood murder victim address court after three years

Maxwell Pain, 55, after a committal hearing in Bendigo in 2015.
Maxwell Pain, 55, after a committal hearing in Bendigo in 2015.

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AFTER almost three years of court proceedings, the family and friends of Raywood murder victim David Paris have had their chance to tell his killer of the pain of the crime.

Maxwell Pain, 55, appeared at a plea hearing in the Melbourne Supreme Court on Tuesday after he was found guilty of the 2014 murder of Mr Paris, 36.

Pain was captured on his own CCTV leaving his Neilborough property with two guns before driving to Raywood where he shot Mr Paris in the stomach from the window of his ute, falsely accusing him of having an affair with his wife.

In a victim impact statement the fiancee of Mr Paris, Rebecca Lambert, told the court it would take “all the paper in this world” to describe her loss.

“Dave saved my life,” she said.

“If it wasn’t for Dave, I wouldn’t be here today to tell you how amazing he was to me.

“I have no idea why he has been taken away from me and my son. He was harmless and never did no wrong.

“It feels like a lifetime sentence of pain.”

His mother, Deborah Paris, told the court Mr Paris was her “first consideration in every choice I made in life from the age of 17”.

“For 19 years we only had each other and that created a bond that very few people, unless they have experienced it, can appreciate,” she said.

“We shared every situation. It was David who provided the love and support through ten years of cancer, getting a bucket and putting a cold flannel on my forehead for hours for bouts of chemo.

“When I bought my first house, we both slated the floors, oiled the cedar exterior, developed a garden and did everything else involved in establishing and maintaining a home.”

Pain pleaded not guilty to the murder and was found guilty by a jury after four days of deliberation.

A psychologist’s report tendered to the court found that Pain, who was married to Mr Paris’ mother-in-law, suffered a “range of delusions about his ex-wife’s extramarital fidelity”

His defence counsel, John Desmond, said Pain would meet the criteria for “delusional disorder, jealous-type multiple episodes” as outlined in the report.

Mr Desmond said it reduced Pain’s moral culpability.

“If you’ve got the diagnosis and he’s untreated, then he’s not in the same category of the bloke who just believes mistakenly that his wife is having an affair and goes out and shoots someone,” he said.

“He’s not that person because he’s got the delusional disorder.”

The court heard Pain has a history of alcohol abuse and is suffering “diabetes complications” in one leg. His ex-wife Tracey Bush – present on the night of the murder – told the court the accusations of infidelity started several months after they married.

Mr Desmond said he would be asking the court for a baseline sentence of 15 years’ jail.

Pain has been in custody for almost three years since the murder on June 10, 2014.

Justice Michael Croucher said the continuing legal proceedings were a burden for Mr Paris’ family.

“A mother has lost her only son,” he said.

“A boy has lost his father.

“A partner has lost her life partner, a grandmother has lost her grandson and every other relationship you can think of. It’s just horrible for them.”

The hearing was part-heard, and will continue in Melbourne on June 9.