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Money drove a young Mount Hawthorn man to kill his mother and go to elaborate lengths to pretend she was still alive, prosecutors alleged during the man’s judge-only murder trial.

Brent Donald Mack’s 56-year-old mother Ah Bee Mack, a Chinese-Australian woman who preferred to go by the name Pauline, was last seen alive in September 2008.

A tragic series of events leading to Mrs Mack’s disappearance was sparked by her wealthy husband’s death in August 2008, the Supreme Court of Western Australia heard on Tuesday.

Donald Mack was a drinker and a controlling man who rarely let his wife out of the house, according to the witness statement of Mrs Mack’s brother.

After his death Mrs Mack had almost no friends, rarely socialised and was living with her son Brent, who her sister-in-law described as “funny” and someone who “kept to himself”.

Mrs Mack’s brother and sister-in-law had grown concerned when they had not heard from Mrs Mack for over a year and started receiving odd messages from her son.

The pair tried to visit Mrs Mack in July 2010 and found a new gate had gone up on her Fairview Street home, and the garden she was once proud of had become overgrown.

They then received a suspicious card purporting to be from Mrs Mack in August 2010.

The handwriting on the card was not Mrs Macks’ and it had been signed in the birth name she never used.

They finally reported her missing, but her body has never been found.

The following month her son Brett Mack, who suffers a form of autism, was charged with his mother’s murder.
Mrs Mack had a second son, Adrian Mack.

When Adrian started asking questions about where his mother was between September 2010 and February 2011 his brother told him she was a “psycho who was being looked after by a man”, living near Dianella.

An elaborate web of lies spanning four years points to her son’s guilt, state prosecutor Dave Dempster told the court.

“He has gone through an elaborate exercise to try to convince relatives she was alive,” Mr Dempster said.

The accused claims he found his mother in the shower with self-inflicted wounds in December 2008 and promised to keep the dark secret for her in her dying moments, the court heard.

The court is expected to hear evidence of a July 2012 police interview where Mr Mack claims he left his mother in the bathroom with the water running for a week before disposing of her body, Mr Dempster said.

“Leaving his bleeding mother in the shower for a week with the tap running simply does not make any sense,” Mr Dempster said.

Mr Dempster alleged the murder was motivated by Donald Mack’s cash, and lucrative property portfolio.

Mr Mack went on to falsify his mother’s signature and access more than $200,000 from her bank accounts before his arrest, according to the prosecution case.

The trial is expected to run for two days.

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