Husband, 70, ‘murdered his elderly wife by deliberately pushing her wheelchair into a pond’ after taking her to a park to watch the sunset
- Peter Rex Dansie, 70, took his wife Helen to Veale Gardens to watch the sunset
- He allegedly parked her wheelchair and pushed her into a pond
- Court heard Dansie had planned the murder due to relationship issues
- Also tried to claim two $15,000 insurance payouts four days after wife’s death
An Adelaide man murdered his wife by deliberately pushing her wheelchair into a pond, a court has heard.
Peter Rex Dansie is facing a Supreme Court trial over the 2017 death of his wife Helen, who was wheelchair-bound due to a stroke and the effects of e-coli.
The court heard the 70-year-old took his wife, 68, to Veale Gardens in Adelaide to watch the sunset and parked her wheelchair so her back was towards the horizon.
Peter Rex Dansie is facing a Supreme Court trial over the death of his wife Helen in 2017
Peter Dansie departs the Supreme Court in Adelaide following the ongoing trial over his wife’s alleged murder
He is alleged to have then pushed the wheelchair with one hand and let his wife fall into the pond. Her body was found in 1.5m of water.
Jim Pearce QC told the court that the accused jumped into the water in a pathetic attempt to show he tried to rescue her.
‘It is as a result of his hand that she and the wheelchair ended up in that pond,’ Pearce said.
A post-mortem revealed Ms Dansie died from freshwater drowning.
In the four days after her death, Dansie tried to claim two $15,000 insurance payouts he had taken out just weeks before his wife’s death.
Mr Pearce said the alleged murder was premeditated due to the ongoing issues in the pair’s relationship, and that Dansie disliked being told what to do by his wife.
Relatives of Helen Dansie (right, second from right) were at the Supreme Court on Tuesday
‘(The evidence) puts to a lie his claims that this was a spontaneous incident – this was a premeditated killing’ the court heard
‘Peter Dansie was a man who was accustomed to being in charge … he did not like being told what to do by others,’ he told the court.
‘By late 2016 or early 2017, Helen Dansie had become a burden upon him that he was no longer prepared to tolerate.
‘He threw her into the pond (and then) began to embark upon a course of deception and subterfuge.
‘(The evidence) puts to a lie his claims that this was a spontaneous incident – this was a premeditated killing.’
The court also heard Dansie had taken a spare set of clothes to the park with him that day, left his watch in his car and had placed his wallet and phone at the base of a tree before going to his wife’s rescue.
The trial continues.