Upset and angry at her husband's mental health issues,
Lucille Scollay took a large kitchen knife and plunged it
through his heart as he lay sleeping, a court heard today.
Lucille Scollay, 45, denies murdering Guy Scollay, 48, at the
pair's Edgeware Rd home on February 10 last year.
The cleaner pleaded not guilty at the start of her High Court
jury trial in Christchurch this morning.
But she accepts that her actions resulted in the death of her
husband, her defence counsel Rupert Glover said.
There are only two possible verdicts - guilty of murder or
guilty of manslaughter, he said.
"So what is really on trial is not the facts of the case but
the state of mind of Mrs Scollay. It's a very, very tragic
Mrs Scollay sobbed as prosecutor Mark Zarifeh outlined the
In the early hours of Sunday, February 10 last year, she
returned home after a night out drinking with a man she had
become close to.
Walking up the drive, she decided that she would kill her
husband, who had been on a methadone programme, was suffering
from depression, and his mental health issues were badly
affecting their marriage, the Crown says.
She took a large knife from the kitchen and went into the
marital bedroom where her husband of around 20 years was
sleeping, it is alleged.
"She took her husband by his shoulder as he lay sleeping on
his side, rolled him onto his back, got on top of him,
straddling him as he was still half asleep, brought the knife
up and stabbed him in chest, a deep wound that penetrated his
heart," Mr Zarifeh told the jury.
With almost immediate remorse and regret, the Crown says she
raised alarm with her 19-year-old son who was sleeping in his
He called 111 but Mr Scollay could not be saved.
The wound caused immediate massive internal and external
bleeding, the court heard.
"It is as a result of her actions, that she faces this charge
of murder," Mr Zarifeh said.
Mr Scollay was an intelligent man, with an honours degree in
history, the court heard.
But his mental health issues never allowed him to realise his
potential. He was on anti-depressant medication and suffered
from anxiety attacks.
He left the house rarely; only to go grocery shopping, to the
chemist, or local second-hand bookstore to browse and read.
The court heard that Mrs Scollay became deeply dissatisfied
and frustrated with her husband's ill mental health, and felt
he would never change.
She had had a six-month affair with a man she had worked with
around 10 years ago. They had started seeing each other in
the fortnight leading up to the death.
The pair had been out drinking at friends' properties, parks
and a pub when they returned to the Scollay house in the
early hours of February 10.
They parked outside and talked, at which point Mrs Scollay
became emotional and upset as she talked about her life with
"She said things to the effect she had wasted her life and
couldn't see things getting any better, that Guy was really
sick and not getting any better, and getting more and more
difficult to live with," Mr Zarifeh said.
The man tried to calm her down before she went inside about
It's alleged she later told police that she felt "desperate"
and "something had to happen".
"I didn't think I would do it, but I did," she allegedly told
Police also say she told them she decided to stab her husband
as she was walking up the long drive to their rear flat.
Watching her "obviously quite brilliant husband" deteriorate
over 20 years resulted in "pressure building up... to a point
where she simply broke", Mr Glover said.
But she denies meaning to murder him that night.
"She simply wanted to try and get him to listen to her and to
try and change their desperate, desperate lives," he said.
Mr Zarifeh said the issue for the jury was a relatively
narrow one: whether the Crown can prove beyond reasonable
doubt that Mrs Scollay had a murderous intent at the time of
The trial, before Justice Cameron Mander, is set down for
four days and will hear from 19 witnesses.