Man on trial for murdering wife in laundry (Australia)

Posted on August 6, 2012

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A MELBOURNE woman allegedly killed by her ex-husband shortly before she was to move overseas with their children died from repeated blows to the head, a court has heard.

South Australian man Robert Arthur Meade, 41, is charged with the murder of Sally Brooks, who died in hospital 10 days after being found bashed at her Melbourne home on July 1 last year.

A committal hearing for Meade began in the Melbourne Magistrates Court on Monday.

Prosecutors allege Meade murdered his former wife in the laundry of her Donvale home shortly after she dropped the children off at school.

Meade knew July 1, the last day of the school term, was his last opportunity to kill her and be certain the children were not in the house before she was due to take them to the United Kingdom, it is alleged.

“There were no signs of ransacking or removal of valuables, with the deceased’s bag being in plain sight in the kitchen,” a prosecution summary said.

Forensic pathologist Matthew Lynch told the court Ms Brooks died from multiple head injuries.

He said police had provided information that Ms Brooks suffered repeated blows to the head.

In his autopsy, Mr Lynch found skull fractures and injuries to her head, he said.

The court heard that in the days before he was arrested, Meade had contacted the owner of a mine in the Strathbogie Ranges, in Victoria’s northeast, about gold panning in the area.

Meade had also told the mine owner that he had an exploration licence in the Walhalla area, the court heard.

On his arrest Meade was found with $3900 cash. Prosecutors allege the money was for the purpose of paying someone to say he was in Bonnie Doon, in the Strathbogie Ranges, on the morning of the murder.

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