MURDER ON THE MURRAY Tale of tragedy unfolds in court My other son was on the bank screaming at me while I put his brother under the water
THE trial of the woman charged with murdering her five-year-old son by drowning him in the Murray at Moama, and attempting to murder her nine-year-old son the same way, has revealed an incredibly sad and disturbing tale of domestic violence, drug abuse and mental health.
Before the accused’s nine-year-old son’s audio evidence was presented to the court his mother was excused from the hearing by Justice Richard Button.
Starting on Monday in the Wagga Wagga Supreme Court, the trial before Justice Burton is by judge alone.
The woman on trial has sat crying, rocking and playing with her hair through the majority of proceedings to date.
Reading evidence to the court Justice Button has used the phrase “I had to kill my babies” more than 20 times as witness after witness said this was what the accused had said to them in the hours after the murder.
But many in the court were deeply affected when, speaking in his pre-recorded evidence, her surviving son said “mum told me to put my head in the water and she dunked me”.
The boy, who was eight at the time of the murder on March 2 last year, told a police officer
from a hospital bed he began to “suffocate” when his mother held him under.
The court heard the Deniliquin woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, sat on top of her eight-year-old son under the water but he kept “fighting her”.
“He was still alive, he is so strong,” the woman said in a police interview. “I was trying to put him out of his pain. “My other son was on the bank screaming at me while I put his brother under the water.”
The woman then grabbed her five-year-old son from the bank and put him face first under the water.
She told the police he was wearing his “little Batman outfit” at the time.
The court heard when she felt him stop fighting she “pushed him out into the river”.
Evidence has been presented that the mother was delusional and thought killing them was “saving them”.
She has pleaded not guilty to both charges by way of mental health.
In the Crown’s opening the court heard the eldest boy who survived had told police he asked to be saved after a dog attacked him while his mother was attempting to drown him.
“I think I’m the only survivor,” he said to a witness.