‘You’re killing me’: Murder victim’s final words before being stabbed to death

A NSW man stabbed to death in the state’s south is being remembered as a “cool and casual” person as his killer prepares to be sentenced for murder.

Samual Campbell stabbed Nicholas Robertson 15 times during a drug-induced psychosis in Cooma in February 2021.

Campbell, 23, pleaded guilty to murdering 38-year-old Robertson in the NSW Supreme Court in April, two weeks before the case was due to go to trial.

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He also pleaded guilty to one count of wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm to his friend Zane Kouaider, 21, who was also stabbed in the attack.

Court documents reveal Kouaider considered Robertson as a “father figure”.

In a victim impact statement read by Crown Prosecutor Kate Ratcliffe during a sentencing hearing on Monday, Kouaider said Robertson was his best friend.

“He was always the kind of person you would go to,” Kouaider said.

“He was a hard worker and kept to himself.

“Nico was down to earth and the most cool and casual person you could ever meet.

“He lived to be just Nico. It’s not fair that was taken away from him.”

The weapon used in the murder. Credit: Supplied

Since the attack, Kouaider said he suffers night terrors and is “anxious most of the time for no reason”.

“Both Nico and Sam were my best friends — I lost them both that night,” he said.

“I get uncomfortable around knives.

“I dissociate from reality easily.”

Campbell, who sat in the dock dressed in prison greens, appeared to hang his head as the statement was read.

‘You’re killing me’

In the days before the murder on February 15, Campbell became increasingly paranoid after using methamphetamine he bought after receiving a Centrelink payment.

“Everyone’s watching me, it’s like eyes are on me all the time,” he said the day before the murder, according to court documents.

In the early hours of the next day, Robertson, Kouaider and Campbell were at Kouaider’s place when Robertson asked to be driven home.

All three were in the car when Campbell asked: “Are you going to hurt me? I just don’t trust you. Are you taking me out to the bush to kill me?”

Soon after, Campbell stabbed Kouaider in the arm.

“The knife went completely through Mr Kouaider’s arm, with the knife exiting on the other side,” court documents state.

Campbell then leaned into the front seat of the car and stabbed Robertson in the chest.

“You’re killing me, you’re killing me,” Robertson screamed.

Both men then got out of the car, where Campbell continued to stab Robertson.

Kouaider managed to get Robertson back into the car and drove to Cooma Hospital while calling triple-0, leaving Campbell behind.

Kouider ran into the hospital’s emergency department screaming for help about 4am.

Robertson was declared dead less than half an hour later, while Kouaider was treated for his injuries.

Campbell was arrested a short time later and charged with the two offences.


Crown prosecutor Ratcliffe submitted while there was no evidence Campbell, who was 21 at the time of the attack, had premeditated the murder, he had an intention to kill.

It was also submitted the use of a weapon was an aggravating factor.

Ratcliffe added Campbell, who had previously abstained from using drugs, made the choice to purchase and use ice in the days before the murder, with the knowledge he experiences hallucinations and delusions while intoxicated.

“He was aware of the risk of experiencing psychosis because he had experienced psychotic symptoms when he took methamphetamine,” Ratcliffe said.

“He doesn’t have a reason for going to make the purchase for methamphetamine.

“It is not a mitigating factor that the drug use was a causal factor in the offending.”

Defence barrister Christopher Barry SC submitted otherwise, arguing Campbell did not have an intent to kill the victims when he stabbed them, only to incapacitate them due to delusions they would kill him.

“It was not a case of his carrying the knife with the intention of using it … there was nothing untoward or anticipatory in the relation to the use of it until he found himself at night, and the paranoid psychosis started to operate on his mind,” Barry told the court.

Campbell had a history of drug use, the court heard, and had been diagnosed with severe substance use disorder.

“In the absence of the substance abuse in this case, these crimes would have never been committed,” Barry said.

Barry also submitted Campbell should receive a longer parole period to better his prospects for rehabilitation, adding there were no aggravating factors in the case.

Campbell will be sentenced later this month.

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