A father who was stabbed to death by his wife was known among his colleagues as "Jake the Muss" and like the violent Once Were Warriors character would say to her "when I'm angry, stay out of my way", a Perth court has heard.
Cara Lee Hall is arguing self-defence in her Supreme Court murder trial, admitting she killed 33-year-old Glenn Hall by stabbing him at least 16 times in the chest, neck, head and back at their Leda home in December 2015.
She was also charged with attempted murder after their youngest and eldest sons, aged four and 11, suffered knife wounds in the early morning attack, which started when the victim was sleeping in the lounge room.
Hall gave evidfence on Wednesday, denying she tried to stab the boys.
The 38-year-old said she was holding the large kitchen knife when she went to comfort them and when the eldest grabbed it, she pulled it away so he wouldn't hurt himself.
Hall said she didn't remember much of what happened, including how the four-year-old was cut.
"I would never hurt my children," she said tearfully.
Hall claimed she had suffered years of increasingly worse physical abuse by her husband, who got angry when he didn't have cannabis and repeatedly threatened to kill them all.
She said he once held a knife to her throat and said: "You're dead. You're f***ing gone."
Hall was especially fearful for her daughter from a previous relationship, who had moved out but was due to visit on the morning of the attack.
She also claimed her husband had been physically abusive towards the children, and she even found toxic desiccant pressed into the bread of one of the boy's sandwiches after he suggested poisoning them all.
Asked why she didn't leave, Hall said he told her she wouldn't get custody, given she had mental health problems, and "if anything happens to those kids, they'll think you did it".
She once offered him money to leave but "he smashed me over and over in the throat so I was too scared to say it again".
"Glenn told me if I left, he would hunt me down and kill us all," she said.
The court heard she secured two violence restraining orders in 2014 and 2015, but her husband told her: "What makes you think a restraining order is going to stop me from killing you?"
The night before, "he was whispering in my ear he was going to kill me. He was on a rampage for days".
She said he found it "quite funny" he was known as "Jake the Muss".
After she woke on the day of the killing and stood in the kitchen holding the knife as the family slept, she felt "really weird, like an out-of-body experience, floating on air, heart loud in my chest".
"I don't remember stabbing Glenn that many times. I was shocked."