Accused killer sobs — (The Herald Sun)

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The Herald Sun

08 mar 05

A WOMAN charged with the murder of an elderly man in his Wonthaggi home trembled and sobbed in court yesterday.

Mary Rose Curtis, 46, is charged with the murder of Jack Hazeldene, 80.

A friend of Mr Hazeldene found him dead in his home last Saturday.

Defence lawyer Elissa Watson told Moe Magistrates’ Court her client took medication for depression, had suicidal thoughts and might be withdrawing from alcohol.

Magistrate Clive Alsop remanded Ms Curtis, of Kirrak St, Wonthaggi, to appear in court on May 24.


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Woman jailed for killing veteran — (The Herald Sun)

Mary Rose Curtis, 47, murdered Jack Hazeldene, 80, with electrical cords in the kitchen of his Wonthaggi home on March 5 last year.

The Supreme Court heard Curtis and Mr Hazeldene had formed a friendship after the death of his wife in 1997.

But the relationship later turned sour, with the veteran complaining Curtis badgered him for food, beer and cigarettes.

Police believe the murder may have happened after a row over money. Mr Hazeldene withdrew $300 two days before his death and Curtis was arrested with $350 cash.

Justice Murray Kellam said the motive could not be proved and the attack had been spontaneous.

But he said Curtis spent some time strangling Mr Hazeldene and it wasn’t “from a momentary flash of anger”.

The court heard Curtis had been drinking at a friend’s home before leaving to visit Mr Hazeldene on the day of the murder.

She returned soon after, saying she had “done something wrong” and needed to call an ambulance — but kept drinking for an hour before calling for help.

Curtis later confessed to her son, saying: “I think I have killed Jack . . . I grabbed him from behind and strangled him.”

Curtis, of Wonthaggi, pleaded guilty to murder.

The court heard Curtis had a drinking problem and a low IQ.

Justice Kellam said Curtis’s problems made sentencing her difficult, but he had to consider that a decent man had lost his life and sentenced Curtis, to 14 years’ jail, with a non-parole term of 10 years.