MORE than three years after she was found dead on the garage floor of her Singleton unit, Hilliary Allen’s killer was found guilty of her murder in Newcastle Supreme Court yesterday.
Scott O’Heir, 28, will be sentenced in September after the jury also found him guilty of the robbery that led to Mrs Allen’s death on March 1, 2009.
Outside the court, Mrs Allen’s sons, Gary and Brian Edwards, and their wives thanked the detectives, prosecutors and expert witnesses who prepared the case and supported them through the court process. They also thanked friends, family and supporters at Singleton.
‘‘It’s been a long and emotional three years and five months to get to this day,’’ Gary Edwards said.
‘‘We’ve been through ... two mistrials and to finally get this trial in our favour is something we’re very, very grateful for.
‘‘As we all know, there’s no winners in these situations. Our mum’s lost her life, other people’s lives have been destroyed and there are other people whose lives have been very much changed by this for many years.’’
The 82-year-old was discovered by Brian Edwards on the morning of March 2 after he had tried to ring his mother a number of times, the jury heard.
A blood trail from the upstairs section of the unit led to the garage and within that trail were a number of shoe prints matching O’Heir’s Asics Gel Nimbus joggers.
O’Heir told the jury that it was his girlfriend, Cheyenne Anderson, who was responsible for Mrs Allen’s injuries and that he tried to help Mrs Allen.
The jury clearly rejected O’Heir’s version.
He showed little emotion after the verdict was delivered.
He sat with his head bowed and appeared pale as the sentence date was decided. O’Heir was found guilty of a lesser known form of murder called constructive murder or felony murder.
It was not the Crown case that O’Heir intended to kill or seriously injure Mrs Allen, but that he inflicted the wound that claimed her life while carrying out a serious offence, namely robbery.
Mrs Allen had more than 20 bruises and abrasions on her body, but it was a deep gash to her right leg that caused the blood loss that resulted in her death, the jury heard.
The gash was caused by Mrs Allen’s leg striking the handle of a bedroom drawer with considerable force, but neither the Crown nor defence barrister Nicolas Moir were able to say how the wound was occasioned.