Muhumed Samow Ali split a woman’s head with a machete after deliberately smashing his car into hers and was stopped from further attacking her by a man with a wheelie bin.
But he has told his Brisbane Supreme Court trial he didn’t mean to kill her in the domestic attack, only to harm her.
Ali has pleaded guilty to unlawful wounding and dangerous driving over the September 2015 assault, but not guilty to attempted murder.
He had known his victim for about three years, having met her in Townsville after she arrived from Somalia in 2011.
The court heard he would visit the woman on weekends but around July 2015, when both lived at separate homes in Brisbane, he said he didn’t want to see her anymore.
However, on the morning of September 10, he went to the woman’s Wacol street address and, as she was driving home, smashed his car into hers.
“(She) got out of her car, she left one of her shoes behind in her haste, she left the engine running and she ran screaming towards houses calling for help,” Crown prosecutor Sarah Farnden told the jury.
The woman told the court she then saw Ali take a large knife from the boot of his car.
“I tried to run behind him,” she said, giving evidence through a Somali interpreter, on Monday.
Brandishing the weapon, Ali chased her, cornered her and wielded his machete.
“He hit me seven times and when he hit me the seventh time … that’s when I fell,” she said.
The woman was struck with the blade across the back of the head and knocked to the ground, suffering a six-centimetre cut that went down to the skull, the jury heard.
As she lay in the middle of the road, a neighbour ran to help the crying woman.
Clinton Holgate said it was too dangerous to treat her so he grabbed a nearby wheelie bin and used it to fend off Ali.
Other residents then took the woman into their garage and kept her safe until emergency services arrived.
Most of the facts of the trial are not disputed, but the defence says Ali used the dull edge of the blade in a bid to injure, but not kill.
Defence lawyer Ben Power told the jury they had been assigned to a difficult case.
“My client has pleaded guilty to all of the physical actions,” he said.
“The charges of attempted murder and wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm are a step beyond his physical actions and their consequences.”
Doctors, police and five eye-witnesses are set to give evidence as the trial continues before Justice Roslyn Atkinson.