Arrests Over Littlehampton Axe Attack

November 16, 2023 11:22 am in by

A 43-year-old woman from Adelaide has been arrested by police from the Republic of Palau, on behalf of SAPOL’s Major Crime Investigation Branch.

The woman faces charges in South Australia of two counts of attempted murder and two counts of conspiracy to murder. She has been remanded in custody in Koro, Palau.

In October 2017, a 30-year-old Littlehampton man, Mr. Hawtin was attacked and suffered axe wounds to his neck rendering him a quadriplegic. The subsequent criminal trial heard that a person known to him (his identity is supressed) inflicted the axe wounds after allegedly receiving a gunshot wound to his abdomen.

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Detectives charged Mr. Hawtin with attempted murder. The initial police investigation and subsequent criminal trial proceeded on the basis of self-defence by Mr. (identity supressed).  The court heard evidence that Mr. Hawtin had shot Mr. (identity supressed).  Mr. Hawtin was acquitted at trial.

In 2020, Major Crime Investigation Branch commenced a review of the investigation named Operation Fabula. Operation Fabula identified evidence that has resulted in a warrant of apprehension being issued in Adelaide for a woman (identity supressed) who resided overseas.

Major Crime engaged Australian Commonwealth authorities and overseas police to assist in the investigation overseas leading up to the arrest.

Operation Fabula has also resulted in the arrest of a 36-year-old man in Brisbane this week.  He will be charged with conspiracy to murder related offences.

The Brisbane man is expected to appear in the Brisbane Magistrates Court today where Major Crime Detectives will seek his extradition to South Australia.

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As Operation Fabula continues its investigations, further arrests and charges cannot be ruled out.

Anyone with information about the 2017 attempt murder incident at Littlehampton or activities associated with the incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or online at


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