Laundry dispute led to near-fatal stabbing

·2-min read

Brett Vaisey stabbed his neighbour so many times with a 20-cm kitchen knife after a dispute over a communal washing machine that the blade broke.

Vaisey, 57, repeatedly told Annick Henenberg, then 65, "it's alright," as he nearly stabbed her to death.

He then began to kick and punch her after his knife broke.

Ms Henenberg managed to record the attack, which broke out on Australia Day last year at their public housing block in Elwood.

"Die you f***ing c***," Vaisey yelled during the attack.

"If I'm going to jail, it's worth it."

Vaisey, who has pleaded guilty to attempted murder, on Thursday faced an online hearing at the Victorian Supreme Court, where footage of his arrest was played.

The 57-year-old, bound in handcuffs, lay face-down on a driveway when he told police he had "snapped".

"I didn't want to do it, but she kept pushing me," Vaisey said.

"She asked for it - she provoked me and provoked me.

"No offence but I hope I killed her."

Vaisey then asked police to look after his dog named Mr Peabody, after a cartoon.

Dr Fiona Best, a psychiatrist, said Vaisey had a major mental illness that included a borderline personality disorder.

She added that Vaisey had become "pre-occupied" with Ms Henenberg following an extended period of disputes and he felt she was trying to harm him.

"This moved into something with a psychotic flavour," Dr Best said.

The court was told Ms Henenberg had, during a six-month period to July 2019, filed eight formal complaints about Vaisey's abusive behaviour toward her in the laundry.

About five hours before the attack, Vaisey also called police and said he thought he was losing control.

"I'm a guy and I don't wanna go off, but I need help," he told authorities.

"If I keep getting harassed, I might lose my temper."

Vaisey's barrister, John Desmond, said his client had shown remorse for his actions through his admissions to police and his early guilty plea.

The defence barrister also read out an apology from Vaisey for his "outrageous conduct" and said his client now felt "significant self-loathing".

But Mr Desmond argued that the attack could be linked to Vaisey's mental illness.

"At the time he believed he was being persecuted. It was a genuinely held belief, which may or may not have been independent from reality," he said.

Mr Desmond also said Vaisey suffered from alcoholism and had been subjected to family violence as a child.

Justice Rita Incerti will sentence Vaisey at a later date.

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