Ac­cused killer con­fided in her work­mate

Southern Telegraph - - News - Tim Clarke

It was in aisle four of Wool­worths in Palmyra that Jemma Lil­ley al­legedly re­vealed her dark­est se­cret to a close col­league.

“I did it, I killed some­one,” the then-25-year-old night-fill man­ager al­legedly said.

“It didn’t go to plan. The wire broke. I had to get Trudi to hold him down — there was a lot of blood (com­ing) from his neck.”

Matthew Stray, the shelf stacker who had be­come a con­fi­dant, thought his boss must be jok­ing.

But as the night wore on, and Ms Lil­ley al­legedly un­bur­dened her­self fur­ther, it ap­peared she was deadly se­ri­ous. “It was like an ex­cited se­cret she wanted to tell me,” Mr Stray told the Supreme Court on Friday.

“I found it hard to ab­sorb, in a su­per­mar­ket, in aisle four.

“It’s not re­ally one of those things that you for­get.”

The al­leged con­fes­sion was the cen­tre­piece ev­i­dence at the end of a week in which pros­e­cu­tors laid out how they say 18-year-old Aaron Pa­jich met his fate at the hands of Ms Lil­ley and her house­mate Trudi Lenon, 43, in June last year.

They are al­leged to have jointly killed the autis­tic teenager after Ms Lenon lured him to an Ore­lia house.

Mr Pa­jich’s body was found buried in the gar­den un­der­neath re­cently poured con­crete and red tiles.

Sev­eral of Ms Lil­ley’s Wool­worths col­leagues told how, in the days and weeks lead­ing up to the al­leged mur­der and mea culpa, she had dis­played her fas­ci­na­tion with se­rial killers, knives and her al­terego “SOS” — also the name of a killer char­ac­ter in a book she had writ­ten.

“She re­ferred to her­self as SOS, and that was her dark side . . . the side she would get when she would lose con­trol,” her friend David Bishop said.

An­other work­mate, Natalie Davey, said in the month be­fore the al­leged killing, Ms Lil­ley told her that SOS “would be com­ing out soon”.

Mr Stray said it was five days after the mur­der Ms Lil­ley told in hor­rific de­tail how she had garot­ted then stabbed Mr Pa­jich.

She showed him a miss­ing per- sons ar­ti­cle con­tain­ing Mr Pa­jich’s pic­ture, and an il­lus­tra­tion of a jester which she wanted to get a tat­too of “to sig­nify what she had done”.

“A sym­bol to rep­re­sent the sig­nif­i­cance of killing some­one,” Mr Stray said. Ms Lil­ley and Ms Lenon deny the mur­der.

Pic­ture: Danella Be­vis

Matthew Stray, a former Wool­worths col­league of ac­cused killer Jemma Lil­ley, gave ev­i­dence at the mur­der trial of Ms Lil­ley and her house­mate Trudi Lenon in court.

Aaron Pa­jich

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