A man who allegedly tried to gas himself and his three-year-old daughter to death was told his marriage was over just hours earlier, a court has heard.
Shaun Mate, 43, was found unconscious alongside his daughter at the family’s Eden Hills home, in Adelaide’s south-east on the night of July 16.
Police were called following a frantic Triple-0 call from Mate’s distraught wife Cassandra.
She told the operator she found him and their three-year-old daughter unconscious in a ‘gas filled bedroom’.
Shaun Mate, 43, was found unconscious alongside his daughter at the family’s Eden Hills home, in Adelaide’s south-east on the night of July 16
In Adelaide Magistrates Court on Wednesday, prosecutors said Cassandra (left) had told Mate earlier that day that she was leaving him
Shaun Mate (pictured with paramedics on a stretcher) was rushed to hospital after being found unconscious at the family’s Eden Hills home, in Adelaide’s south-east on the night of July 16
Officers found Mate with a plastic bag over his head and a tube connecting it to a gas canister.
In Adelaide Magistrates Court on Wednesday, prosecutors said Cassandra had told Mate she was leaving him just hours before the attempted ‘murder-suicide’.
The court heard police had been called to the family’s home just hours before the incident following a disturbance.
Police suggested the couple sleep in separate bedrooms, but when they were satisfied there was no risk of harm they left without intervention, 7News reported.
The court also heard police found ‘suicide notes’ allegedly proving Mate’s plan to kill his daughter, The Adelaide Advertiser reported.
Mate and the toddler were treated at the scene before they were transferred to Flinders Medical Centre in a critical condition.
Mate’s wife and their six-month-old daughter were unharmed.
The girl was later transferred to the Women’s and Children’s Hospital and placed in a induced coma, with her mother remaining at her bedside.
Police allege the IT specialist had his wife ‘under surveillance’ by bugging her phone and emails.
It’s further alleged he bought gas bottles and plastic bags two days before the incident, and sent ‘unwanted gifts of a personal nature’ to one of his wife’s ‘closest friends’.
The magistrate rejected Mate’s bail application on Wednesday for the protection of his wife and their two daughters.
Police allege the IT specialist had been tracking his wife’s phone and emails, and bought gas bottles and plastic bags two days before the alleged incident
‘No amount of bail will make them feel safe. The thought of him getting bail frightens her no end, the prosecutor told the court.
Mate’s lawyer Stephen White said his client was not trying to kill his daughter.
‘There was no bag or any other device whatsoever in respect to the little girl,’ he said.
Outside court, Mate’s father said his son would never hurt his family.
‘[He] wouldn’t touch her in a fit,’ he told reporters. ‘I’m not going to say anything else.’
Mate will face court again in January.