Australia

Sydney axe attacks: Woman jailed for wounding 7-Eleven customers

CCTV footage shows Evie Amati entering the store holding an axe. Image copyright NSW DISTRICT COURT
Image caption Evie Amati (centre) wounded two shoppers in the attack in Sydney

A transgender woman who randomly attacked two people with an axe in an Australian convenience store has been jailed.

Evie Amati, 26, seriously wounded the man and woman at a 7-Eleven in Sydney in January 2017. She swung her axe at a third customer but did not injure him.

Amati pleaded not guilty on mental health grounds at a trial last year, but a court rejected her argument.

On Friday, a judge sentenced her to a maximum nine years in prison.

"The risk of death was high in each cases and the fact that death did not occur was entirely a matter of good fortune," Judge Mark Williams told the New South Wales District Court.

The court heard that Amati had been "out of her mind" after consuming drugs, alcohol and prescription medication.

She testified that her mental health had declined prior to the attack, after she began taking hormones to transition from male to female.

However, a jury rejected her lawyer's argument that she was suffering from "mental derangement".

Security footage played during the trial showed Amati approaching her first victim, Ben Rimmer, as he waited to buy a meat pie.

After a brief conversation, she struck Mr Rimmer in the face. He was knocked to the ground with a 10cm (4in) facial wound and fractures.

Image copyright NSW DISTRICT COURT
Image caption Amati attacked Ben Rimmer (pictured) as he waited to buy a meat pie

She then attacked her second victim, Sharon Hacker, near the door, fracturing the woman's skull.

Amati turned on a third customer, Shane Redwood, but he shielded himself using his backpack. She was arrested shortly after.

Amati will be eligible for parole in 2021.

Update 19 January 2019: This story has been amended to clarify that Amati is transgender.

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