The Courier-Mail

’Love and support’ for murder accused

Relatives rally behind 82-year-old after wife’s brutal death

- GREG STOLZ JEREMY PIERCE

THE family of an 82-year-old Gold Coast man accused of brutally murdering his wife say he has their “unwavering love and support”, as police investigat­e if a mercy killing was the motive behind the tragic ending to the couple’s six-decade marriage.

Police yesterday charged a hospital-bedridden Max Beever with murdering his wife Robyn, who was found in a pool of blood at their Varsity Lakes home on Thursday by their daughter.

An axe and a belt were found at the scene and police were awaiting autopsy results to determine if they were used in the gruesome killing – and whether Mrs Beever may have also been strangled with a pair of jeans.

In a statement released on behalf of the Beevers’ shattered family, defence lawyer Jonathan Nyst, of Nyst Legal, said the elderly couple were “devoted to each other”.

“Robyn and Max met when they were just 20 years old, and they have been together as a loving couple ever since, for more than 60 years,” the statement said.

“They were devoted to each other and, in their later years, the primary concern of each of them very obviously was the welfare of the other.

“Naturally, the family has been absolutely devastated by this entirely unexpected and deeply tragic turn of events, and in particular the awful loss of their mother.

“But their greatest concern now is for their aged father, who is not in good health, and has not been for a number of years. He has their unwavering love and support, and they are fully committed to his welfare.

“They sincerely thank all those who have ex- pressed their sym- pathy and support t in this time of f shock and grief, but t ask that the press s and the public now respect their privacy, to allow them to absorb and cope with the enormity of this unfolding tragedy.”

Both Mr and Mrs Beever (pictured) are believed to have had dementia, with Mr Beever also suffering from Parkinson’s disease.

He was taken t to Gold Coast University Hospital after a suspected drug overdose following his wife’s death. He remains in hospital under police guard.

At a media conference on Friday, Detective Inspector

Chris Ahearn, of Gold Coast CIB, was quizzed about suggestion­s that Mrs Beever had asked her husband to end her life.

“In terms of motive, there’s various avenues of inquiry being examined to try and determine what was the reason for this lady losing her life,” he said.

“The family are co-operating with us. I’m not going to go into what informatio­n they have provided us in any detail. These matters are now before the court so I’m really hamstrung with what I can say publicly.

“It’s a tragic incident with a tragic outcome (and) our thoughts go out to the family and friends of this woman.” Mr Beever’s case was mentioned briefly in Southport Magistrate­s Court yesterday and adjourned until March 5.

Outside court, Mr Nyst said his client would be defending the charge.

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