David John Dunn began the night of Wednesday, September 8, 2010, a car thief, armed robber and drug user.
He ended it a murderer.
The NSW Supreme Court yesterday heard for the first time the events leading up to Dunn's gruesome axe murder of Warrawong prostitute Rebecca Apps at the rear of a Warilla service station.
Dunn, 28, admitted striking Ms Apps several times in the head with a tomahawk before dumping her body in an Oak Flats reserve shortly before 8am the next day.
The court heard Dunn had been on a 12-day drug bender when he held up a Mt Warrigal takeaway store just after 6.30pm on September 8, making off in a stolen car with $85.
He then headed to Port Kembla, where he picked up Ms Apps on Wentworth Street. The duo headed to Warilla in a bid to score drugs but were unsuccessful.
Dunn told police he didn't have sex with Ms Apps but hit her with the axe because "she wouldn't stop cryin', talkin' shit" and was "calling me a dog". However, he later told his treating psychiatrist, Dr Gerald Chew, that the pair had been in the midst of intercourse when Dunn noticed two tattoos on Ms Apps' ankle and snapped, believing she was a former partner who had murdered his children.
Dr Chew went on to explain that Dunn suffered from a mild intellectual disability, substance dependence and a delusional disorder, the latter causing him to falsely believe a former partner had killed his two children in 1999 by throwing them out a window.
Several members of Ms Apps' family yesterday delivered emotional statements to the court outlining the impact the 28-year-old's death had had on them.
Ms Apps' mother, Christine Bennett, said a "light went out in my life" when she was told of her daughter's murder.
"Please know you have taken away one of the greatest treasures God ever gave to me," she told Dunn from the witness box.
Ms Apps' sister, Heather Bennett, said Dunn had robbed her of the opportunity to properly farewell her big sister.
"We were unable to view her body ... we were told the attack was too severe so no one could see her," she said.
"I couldn't hold her hand one last time. David, you denied me my last goodbye."
Ms Apps' two sons also provided statements to the court. However, they were not read publicly.
Dunn is expected to return for sentencing next week.