Life for husband killer — (The Advertiser)

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The Advertiser

SEAN FEWSTER and JOANNA VAUGHAN

April 14, 2007 12:15am

A WOMAN who helped stab her cancer-stricken husband to death, then tried to pin the blame on her new lover, wept and protested her innocence as she was found guilty of murder last night.

A Supreme Court jury took about 17 hours over two days to convict June Busson, 60, of Largs North, of the murder of her husband Dennis.

Mr Busson was found stabbed to death in his bed on January 29, 2004 – less than a month after his wife began an affair with James Slade.

June Busson wept as the guilty verdict was read out last night, telling the jury they were wrong.

“I’m not guilty,” she said.

“How could you? I can’t believe this, you are all wrong.”

Mr Busson’s brother Wayne said he was ecstatic with the verdict.

“It’s just absolutely great, it’s the proper verdict,” he said.

“It was a very hard case, but it’s the right outcome. We are so ecstatic. We have been here day after day but it’s finally happened, it’s finally over.”

Prosecutors had alleged Slade – who pleaded guilty to the crime – and Busson conspired to kill Mr Busson, then moved into the crime scene together to continue their love tryst.

He was stabbed more than 56 times in the chest and back, a killing prosecutors dubbed “a vicious and fatal attack of the most dreadful kind”.

Busson had testified in her own defence, claiming she did not know of her husband’s death until informed by Slade.

She claimed her marriage had become one “in name only”, and she was more of a carer to her cancer-striken husband.

She told the jury her memories of the day of the killing were “vague”, because she had been drinking and taking anti-depressants.

“I don’t remember going to bed (but) I remember James Slade waking me up,” she said. “He said ‘wake up, wake up, Dennis is dead’, I said ‘what are you talking about?’ “He said ‘there’s blood everywhere and Dennis is dead’.”

After finding her husband’s body and informing the police, she had a “whispered conversation” with Slade.

“I can’t remember his exact words but it was something like ‘it looks bad for me’,” she said.

“(He said) ‘say we were together all night and we found him together’.”

The jury, by its verdict, rejected those claims and found Busson guilty.

She is now liable to serve the mandatory life sentence for murder – a non-parole period will be fixed on a date to be set.