Helen Milner will not be taking the witness stand during her
High Court murder trial, her defence told the jury today.
Milner, 50, denies killing Phil Nisbet, 47, by slipping the
sedative Phenergan into his evening meal and, while he was
heavily sedated, probably finishing him off with a pillow.
She then made his death on May 4, 2009 look like suicide, the
Crown alleges, in the hope of cashing in the life insurance
Today, on the 11th day of her trial at the High Court at
Christchurch, her defence opened their case.
Counsel Margaret Sewell reminded the jury that it was up to
the Crown to prove the charges against Milner.
She confirmed that Milner will not be giving evidence for the
"She has already made two statements to the police and she's
spoken under oath at a coroner's inquest," Ms Sewell said.
Over the last two weeks, the jury has heard from around 70
witnesses, many who were interviewed by police more than two
years after the death, which police originally ruled as
Ms Sewell said despite the popular saying about hindsight, it
is actually "far from a wonderful thing".
"There were many witnesses who were asked to recall answers
to questions two years later, and the defence will say to you
that these questions ... were particular questions only,
pointing towards particular answers."
The defence will today call four witnesses, including a
former workmate of Mr Nisbet's at Christchurch distribution
Ms Sewell asked that the jury uses the defence witnesses'
evidence as a "measuring stick for all that other evidence
that you have heard, from lay witnessing day after day.
"We are hoping that you will use their evidence to think from
a different angle."
Milner denies murdering Mr Nisbet on May 4, 2009, as well as
attempting to kill him twice on April 15, 2009.
The Crown says Milner was unhappy in her marriage and was
motivated to murder by the prospect of cashing in the
$250,000 life insurance policy.
She plotted the best ways to kill her husband - buying drugs
under false names, asking friends for views on poisoning
methods and even offering to pay $20,000 for a hitman to kill
Mr Nisbet, it is alleged.
The trial, before Justice David Gendall, continues.
- Kurt Bayer of APNZ