Victim's sister wants 'Black Widow' meeting

Helen Milner
Helen Milner
The sister of murder victim Phil Nisbet wants to meet his killer, Helen Milner, behind bars.

Lee-Anne Cartier says she wants a face-to-face talk with the woman dubbed the Black Widow to find out why she fatally poisoned Mr Nisbet.

"I need to ask her straight out: At what point did she think it was okay to kill someone?"

Milner, 50, was last month found guilty of murdering Ms Nisbet, her second husband, in 2009.

She slipped the sedative Phenergan into the 47-year-old delivery driver's evening meal and, while he was heavily sedated, suffocated him.

Milner then made his death, on May 4 2009, look like suicide in the hope of cashing in his $250,000 life insurance policy.

"You hear of women who rip off their husband before a break up, but to suddenly click it's okay to commit murder? I just can't get my head around it," says Ms Cartier, 44, who has been praised by police for her sleuth work in bringing Milner to justice.

It was a death that police originally ruled as suicide. It was only when a coroner raised doubts over his death that a full homicide probe was launched.

Ms Cartier became sceptical within days of the funeral of Milner's story that Mr Nisbet killed himself.

From her home in Queensland, she did her own detective work, supplying information to police, and even ringing work colleagues of Milner's who told her that she'd often spoken of "getting rid" of her husband and asked if rat poison would work. They even nicknamed her the Black Widow.

The High Court trial, which ended just before Christmas has taken a toll on Mr Nisbet's family, Ms Cartier and Milner's own sons Adam and Greg, who testified against her.

"Everyone says, 'You won, you won', but it's not a win. You can never win this. Even if she dies in prison, Phil is dead and nothing will bring him back.

"All we can do is make sure she doesn't do it to anyone else."

Ms Cartier says she is desperate to find out how she can get into prison to see Milner.

"I just want to scream at her," she said.

"I need to know what was she thinking. It's tearing me up inside, not knowing.

"Was she out one day getting her hair done, or driving down the road, when she suddenly had an epiphany and thought 'Yep, that's the best way out - I'll kill Phil'."

"She must have something seriously wrong with her ... I just need to know why she did it."

Milner will be sentenced on February 20.

* Visitors to prison must fill out an application form, which is followed by security checks.

Prison staff will assess the application and make a recommendation to the prison manager.

If an application is declined, a prohibition order is issued, banning the applicant from entering the prison for a set period of time.

All prisoners are entitled to at least one visit each week, for a minimum duration of 30 minutes.

The visit may be in a visiting room with other people, on in a booth.

Staff are present in the room. Visitors are allowed to give the prisoner a hug or kiss when greeting them and before leaving. During a booth visit, there is no contact.


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