A man who admitted to hacking his estranged wife with a hatchet 24 times at a Melbourne beauty parlour has avoided an attempted murder conviction.
The man, who can't be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty on Thursday to intentionally causing serious injury to the woman in the violent March 27 attack at Narre Warren.
He was originally accused of attempted murder but prosecutors withdrew that charge when the case came before the Melbourne Magistrates' Court.
The former couple, who have two children together, were separated at the time of the attack at Fountain Gate Shopping Centre.
The man claimed his actions were spurred by the couple's separation and his wife's relationship with another man.
He bought a 39cm hatchet before the attack, using it to repeatedly strike his wife.
The axe became stuck in the woman's skull at one point, requiring the man to wrench it out.
She was left with permanent scarring, including large scars on her face.
The names of the accused and victim are suppressed from publication in order to protect their children.
The man was remanded in custody to return to court for a plea hearing on January 29.