A Turkish dad allegedly told his wife “you don’t deserve to be the mother of my child” before leaving her for dead in northern Victoria, a court has been told.
Mahmut Cigercioglu is facing trial before the Victorian Supreme Court accused of stabbing his wife, Lutfiye Kavci, six times in October 2021 before fleeing with their four-month-old son.
Prosecutors allege Mr Cigercioglu became angry after his attempts to reconcile were rejected.
He had pleaded not guilty to attempted murder, with his barrister David Cronin saying the defence would dispute whether Mr Cigercioglu inflicted the life-threatening injuries.
Outlining the prosecution’s case on Thursday, Crown prosecutor Justin Lewis said the pair had been introduced online by a mutual friend in 2019 before Ms Kavci flew to Turkey where they married the following year.
They reunited in Australia in March 2021 and their son was born three months later in June.
The following month their relationship broke down, with Mr Lewis alleging Mr Cigercioglu was controlling and coercive, leaving Ms Kavci fearing for her life.
“The accused took a particular dislike to the complainant’s sister, Bursa, and didn’t want the complainant spending time with her family,” Mr Lewis told the jury.
“The situation continued to deteriorate.”
They separated, both moving out of their shared home in Shepparton, but prosecutors allege Mr Cigercioglu approached Ms Kavci several times over the following months, demanding they reconcile.
On October 15, Ms Kavci was driving to her father’s house with her son in the back seat when the accused man allegedly stepped in front of the car, saying “I want to talk”.
Mr Lewis said Ms Kavci allegedly tried to leave, but Mr Cigercioglu clung to the car before forcing his way into the vehicle.
“He referred to her as ‘my love’ and told her that he would never hurt her,” Mr Lewis alleged.
It’s alleged Mr Cigercioglu drove around Shepparton for half an hour, with the accused man becoming angry that Ms Kavci didn’t want him anymore.
The Crown alleges he stopped the car shortly before 2pm and retrieved a knife hidden in a garden bed.
Mr Lewis told the court that Ms Kavci allegedly tried to run after spotting the knife but was chased down on Barton St and stabbed six times before the knife snapped in half.
“He said, ‘You don’t deserve to be the mother of my child. You deserve to die’,” he alleged.
Mr Cigercioglu was allegedly arrested three hours later at a Mooroopna supermarket while attempting to buy infant formula.
Ms Kavci spent six days in an induced coma following the alleged attack.
Prosecutors allege Mr Cigercioglu intended to kill Ms Kavci but have put forward an alternative charge of intentionally causing serious injury that the accused man has also pleaded not guilty to.
Mr Lewis told the jury it was alleged Mr Cigercioglu made a number of phone calls before his arrest, including to Ms Kavci’s sister, Bursa, who he allegedly told “this had all happened” because she was speaking to other men.
“The accused said this has all happened and it was all their fault – the family’s fault because they had pulled the complainant away from him,” Mr Lewis said.
In a police interview, prosecutors allege Mr Cigercioglu denied stabbing his wife and implied she had inflicted the wounds herself.
Mr Cronin, told the jury that there was no dispute the couple’s relationship had deteriorated and they had contact on October 15.
But he said the prosecution’s account of what happened was disputed, including allegations his client was controlling, abusive and threatening.
“It’s not denied that she had a serious injury, but it wasn’t the accused that caused those injuries,” Mr Cronin said.
“The prosecution say that Mahmut Cigercioglu stabbed his wife, and that’s denied by the defence.”
He told the jury Ms Kavci’s account of what happened would be called into question.
The three-week trial, presided over by Justice Amanda Fox, continues.