The Southland Times

Mother takes stand, denies knowing son had killedq

‘‘Sam didn’t tell me. It’s part of the reason I’m mad with him.’’

- Blair Jackson

A mum denies knowing her son had murdered his girlfriend, Azalia Wilson, in an Invercargi­ll motel room in 2019.

Patricia Elizabeth Samson, 53, has pleaded not guilty to wilfully attempting to defeat the course of justice by discarding possible evidence against her son, Samuel Samson.

On the fourth day of the High Court at Invercargi­ll trial before Justice Gerald Nation and a jury, Patricia was called as a defence witness and was crossexami­ned for more than 90 minutes.

Before giving evidence, her defence lawyer, David Slater, reminded the jury it was not for the defence to prove anything.

Patricia told the court she was at the motel at 3am to pick up Samuel and Wilson’s infant daughter, after a call from her son, which was not unusual.

She stepped into the unit just past the door but no further, she said. She took Wilson and Samuel’s daughter to the car and buckled her in.

Her son put bags into the boot of her X-Trail car and directed her to Fosbender Park.

On the drive her son said he was going to fight a man, Patricia said.

Patricia said she parked at Fosbender Park and stayed in the car. Her son got items out of the boot that she did not see, gave her a hug and thanked her. She left to go back to town without him.

Later that afternoon, Patricia was stopped by police. A detective said her son was wanted because he had seriously assaulted Wilson, and she had died as a result. ‘‘I just about vomited,’’ Patricia said.

Slater asked her why she started to cry after the detective spoke to her.

‘‘It’s not something anyone wants to hear. I had her [Wilson’s] daughter in the back of my truck,’’ Patricia said.

The Crown alleges Patricia helped remove items that could tie her son to the motel unit where Wilson’s body was found, including a knife, the room key, TV remote and towels that were found in the Oreti River, near Fosbender Park.

During cross-examinatio­n, Crown prosecutor Riki Donnelly queried earlier statements from witnesses who gave evidence that Samson told his mother what he had done while they were in the car. Donnelly: ‘‘You never said that?’’ Patricia: ‘‘I didn’t say that because that didn’t happen. Sam didn’t tell me. It’s part of the reason I’m mad with him.’’

Donnelly: ‘‘At no stage, do you say, he mentions what happened at the motel?’’ Patricia: ‘‘No.’’

Donnelly: ‘‘At no stage during that 30 minutes did you ask any question about . . . what’s happening with Azalia?’’ Patricia: ‘‘No.’’

Donnelly: ‘‘At no stage do you talk about asking what he’s put in the back, nothing like that?’’

Patricia: ‘‘No.’’

Samuel Samson was given a life a sentence for the murder of Wilson.

Justice Nation is expected to sum up the case after closing addresses today.

 ?? STUFF ?? Patricia Elizabeth Samson, on trial in the High Court at Invercargi­ll.
STUFF Patricia Elizabeth Samson, on trial in the High Court at Invercargi­ll.
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