Elderly woman is found not guilty of her husband’s death after he drowned in their backyard pool with weights tied around his waist
- Hazel Spenceley, 79, was accused of pushing her husband into pool in 2016
- Peter Spenceley, 80, drowned in backyard pool with weights around his waist
- They had been married for 57 years and Peter had underlying health issues
- Mrs Spenceley has been found not guilty of manslaughter over death in Perth
An elderly woman has been found not guilty of manslaughter after her husband drowned in their backyard pool with two 3.1kg dumbbells tied around his waist.
Hazel Spenceley, 79, was accused of killing her husband of 57 years, Peter Spenceley, 80, after claims she pushed him into the pool at their Perth home in December 2016.
She has been on trial in the WA Supreme Court since last week but on Tuesday gasped and sobbed when she was acquitted after about four hours of jury deliberations.
‘I did not do anything to assist my husband. He was the most wonderful man in this world. I’ve got to learn to live without him,’ she said outside the court.
Prosecutor Simon Freitag told the court that on the night of his death, Mrs Spenceley told three witnesses, including a police officer and a paramedic, she had shoved him in.
An elderly woman has been found not guilty of manslaughter after her husband drowned in their backyard pool with two 3.1kg dumbbells tied around his waist (pictured)
Hazel Spenceley (pictured) was found not guilty of manslaughter after her husband drowned in December 2016
What happened the night Peter Spenceley died?
Mr Spenceley was sitting at the edge of the deep end and had a bag containing two 3.1kg dumbbells tied around his waist.
Prosecutors argued he drowned in water (2m deep) after he was pushed.
Defendant claim he could of suffered from a heart attack or stayed under water deliberately
Mrs Spenceley tried to use a pole to get her husband out of the pool before running next door to get help.
Prosecutor claims she told three witnesses she has pushed him in but later denied it.
The neighbour performed CPR on him until paramedics arrived.
‘She was the difference between life and death. Without her push he was not in the water,’ the prosecutor said.
Mrs Spenceley’s lawyer Justine Fisher said her client was ‘distressed, crying, frantic, trying to get assistance’ when he drowned and when she said ‘my f***ing son has caused this’.
Ms Fisher said she had meant she’d pushed him metaphorically, not literally and their was no evidence Mrs Spenceley knew he had tied weights around his waist.
The father-of-two was in the early stages of prostate cancer and she said this could have been a reason why he stayed under the water, even though he wasn’t a strong swimmer.
Ms Fisher said Mrs Spenceley wasn’t responsible if the 80-year-old had kept himself under the water.
Mrs Spenceley had tried to use a pole to get her husband out before running next door to get help.
While experts concluded the deceased had succumbed to immersion, Ms Fisher said he may also have suffered a sudden heart attack, given he had signs of heart disease.
Mr Freitag said he was not claiming that Mrs Spenceley had the intention of killing her husband, but told the court the act of pushing itself was a crime because it led to his death.
Mr Spenceley (pictured) reportedly had health issues and wanted to die