By PETA CARLYON
Warning: This post might be upsetting for some readers.
A Melbourne man who murdered his two young daughters by smothering them with pillows has refused to disclose a motive for his crimes.
Charles Mihayo smothered his daughters Savannah, four, and Indianna, three, at his unit at Watsonia in April.
Prosecutors said the 36-year-old was locked in a bitter custodial dispute with his former wife at the time and acted out of revenge.
The Victorian Supreme Court heard Mihayo sent a text message to his former wife shortly before killed them, suggesting she had “won” and he was giving up his rights to see the girls.
He told her he wanted to see them “one last time”, and when she took them to see him he dressed the girls up in new dresses he had bought for them.
He then filmed them dancing to music, before smothering them with pillows.
But he later told his former wife: “Do you really believe I’d give up my flesh and blood just like that? You don’t get to decide that for me.”
The court heard the girls’ mother was outside the unit at the time and her daughters had come outside to show her their new outfits, before they returned inside and the unit “went quiet”.
When she asked Mihayo what had happened, he told her “you’ll know when they get here”, meaning the police.
At that point, the court heard the girls’ mother ran next door to call triple-0.
Mihayo was arrested at the scene and confessed to police, telling them “there was no good reason” for the killings but they “made sense at the time”.The court heard he told police at the scene: “It’s done. I killed them. I killed my kids.”
When police asked why, he told them “you’d have to ask her”, meaning his ex-wife.
Justice Lex Lasry told the court, there was “a very strong public interest in this case” and the community was entitled to “some sort of explanation”.