National

Expert says Vic killer ‘not confused’

By AAP Newswire

A neurologist has fiercely refuted claims an epileptic killer was in a state of "insane automatism" when he stabbed a Melbourne drug dealer in the heart after a seizure.

Nicola Manyok-Thiak, 22, died in the driveway of a Richmond 7-Eleven store in March 2018 just minutes after clashing in a violent altercation over stolen drugs.

The Sudanese-born victim had been a top student with a university entrance ATAR score of 96, with his family believing he worked as a landscape architect.

Heroin user and epilepsy sufferer Albert Awad, 36, pleaded guilty to manslaughter last month, shortly before he was due to stand trial for murder.

The Supreme Court of Victoria was told earlier this week that Mr Manyok-Thiak and a friend were trafficking the drug ice from a Richmond flat at the time of the death.

Awad frequented the apartment, but Mr Manyol-Thiak and his friend decided to ban his visits after suspecting he'd stolen $500 of ice from them.

Awad woke from an epileptic seizure in the flat's bathroom and the two men attacked him with a baseball bat and a vacuum cleaner pole, causing the killer to fall into the bathtub

Awad struck back armed with a knife, prompting the two men to run toward the Church Street 7-Eleven, with Mr Manyok-Thiak collapsing minutes later after uttering: "I've been stabbed in the heart".

He died from blood loss.

In a bid to avoid police Awad donned a cap and leather jacket to alter his appearance, shoved the knife down his pants, and covered his ear - damaged in the fight - with his mobile phone.

On Friday, Sydney epilepsy expert Roy Beran told a pre-sentence plea hearing that Awad's actions were not a consequence of altered consciousness following a seizure, which can cause confusion, aggressive and erratic behaviour.

"These were wilful and voluntary acts," he said via video link.

"People with postictal confusion do not, in my opinion, perform in the manner Mr Awad did.

"What we have here is unequivocal acts of violence."

His comments came after another epilepsy expert, Mark Cook, said he believed Awad wouldn't have had capacity to form proper judgments during a postictal confused state, in which sufferers could become combative and aggressive .

Justice Cameron Macaulay will sentence Awad at a later date.