Husband killed wife with drug mixture, court told — (Courier Mail)

Original article no longer available

Courier Mail


16 June 1998

A MAN allegedly gave his pregnant wife a lethal mixture of drugs before weighing her body down in a dam, the Supreme Court at Toowoomba was told yesterday.

The man, a committed Jehovah’s Witness, had contacted police and newspapers claiming his wife had gone missing, the court was told.

Ian Patrick Reilly, 37, has pleaded not guilty to a charge of murdering his wife Sylvia, 35, at Toowoomba between August 27 and September 22, 1997.

Crown prosecutor Paul Rutledge yesterday told the court a fisherman found Mrs Reilly’s naked body at Perseverance Dam, 50km north east of Toowoomba, three weeks after she disappeared.

The woman, who was about four months pregnant, had been dumped in the dam after being tied to two Besser Blocks, Mr Rutledge said.

A post mortem found no injuries that could have caused her death, but blood and tissue tests revealed she had ingested three anti-depressants – Aropax, Parnate and Effexor, the court heard.

Her husband had been prescribed the drugs for depression in the preceding month Mr Rutledge said.

A search of the couple’s Price Lane house found Besser Blocks matching the two used to weigh down Mrs Reilly’s body, he said. The rope used to tie the bricks to her body appeared to be the same rope Mrs Reilly had used to make curtains, the court was told.

Mr Rutledge said Reilly had contacted police on Sunday, August 31, claiming his wife had gone missing after leaving for Caboolture to see her mother on the Thursday. The court was told Mrs Reilly had never arrived at her mother’s house and McCafferty’s bus staff could not recall her boarding a bus.

The court was told a Mitre 10 hardware worker would give evidence that the couple had come into the store together to pay a bill on the Friday, a day after she was supposed to have disappeared.

In a police interview played to the court, Reilly said he had a loving relationship with his wife and both were devoted Jehovah’s Witness members who had been in full-time ministry until they opened a furniture business. They had only been away from each other twice for a few days during their 15-year marriage.

The trial continues today.

(c) 1998 Queensland Newspapers Pty Ltd