A psychiatrist says a Melbourne man who murdered and mutilated his wife in front of their children was psychotic at the time, but prosecutors believe he was motivated by his radical Islamic beliefs.
The 36-year-old, who cannot be named to protect his children, appeared before the Victorian Supreme Court on Wednesday for a pre-sentence hearing.
The man pleaded guilty in September to murdering his wife at their Broadmeadows home in June 2016.
The couple's children - aged two, four and six at the time - witnessed what prosecutors have described as the man's "prolonged and vicious" attack on their mother.
An autopsy revealed the 27-year-old woman died of blood loss, with multiple wounds to her face and genitals, a gouged-out right eye, and two amputated fingers.
The man later took his three young children with him to dump the body. Afterwards he bought them pastries from a bakery.
A jogger found the body in bushes near the Dallas tennis club on June 17, 2016 and she remained unidentified for three weeks.
Prosecutor Sharn Coombes said the murder was motivated by the killer's religious beliefs and radicalisation, including his desire to be a jihadist.
"Here is a man acting within his own belief system and that's all there is," she said.
But forensic psychiatrist Leon Turnbull disagreed.
"I don't accept that. My assessment is he was psychotic," he told the court.
Dr Turnbull said the man was in a drug-induced psychosis, caused by long-term use of the drug ice, when he killed his wife.
"At the time of the offending, at the apex of his psychotic belief was his belief that his wife was a monster that had been sent to kill him from God," he said.
Ms Coombes said Dr Turnbull's assessment was relying on the man's account about his ice use.
But when the man was questioned by police about the murder and asked if he had been using ice, he did not mention anything about drug use, the prosecutor said.
"There was nothing obviously psychotic in the police interview," Ms Coombes said.
The man also managed to dump his wife's body, clean up her blood, and buy pastries for his children in the period Dr Turnbull believes he was psychotic.
"That doesn't really indicate that he was in a psychosis at the time," the prosecutor said.