Horrified shoppers and workers witnessed the attack and their statements were tendered to court.
Jennifer Wilson was heading into a travel agency when she heard screams coming from the beauty parlour.
She saw the man strike the woman about a dozen times, including in the forehead.
"It got wedged in her head and he had to pull the axe back out," she told police.
Nicole Harris was shopping with a friend when she came across the violent scene, shouting, "Get off of her!"
"The male briefly looked up at me and had a blank look on his face," she said.
"He then turned back and continued hitting her. He was fixated on her."
The victim said her husband was a violent and jealous drunk.
The man claims his actions were motivated by his wife's relationship with another man.
He penned a letter to the High Court saying men have "no power at all" in Australia and "ladies always win the game".
He was remanded in custody to face a plea hearing on January 29.
A Melbourne policeman has described the scene of a shopping centre axe attack in which a man repeatedly struck his estranged wife as one of the worst he's seen.
At one point the axe became stuck in the woman's skull, requiring the man to wrench it out.
The attacker, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has pleaded guilty to intentionally causing serious injury to the woman at Narre Warren's Fountain Gate Shopping Centre on March 27.
Inside a beauty parlour, he struck his wife 24 times with the small axe, wounding her face, arms and legs.
Senior Constable Steven Pope attended the scene where the man was arrested.
"I can only describe the crime scene ... as one of the worst I have seen in my policing career," he told Melbourne Magistrates' Court.
The woman suffered a skull fracture, a broken arm and was left with permanent scarring, including a long scar down her face.
This article was copied from here.