Defence claims finances not a motive: court

Vicki Ann Hunter
Vicki Ann Hunter

WHY would a man married for 37 years kill his wife for an insurance payout that would not even cover his mortgage?

That was the question posed to the jury in the murder trial of Raceview man Ian Hunter.

Hunter has pleaded not guilty to murdering his wife, Vicki, in their Sonter St home on May 6, 2010.

The prosecution alleges Mr Hunter, a keen gambler, killed Vicki Hunter, 55, to reap the rewards of a life insurance payout.

But in his closing submissions on Monday, Hunter's barrister, Dennis Lynch, said the couple were not in financial trouble.

"His financial position was not that badly, frankly," he said.

"They were hardly bankrupt, they had substantial equity in the house, there was still money in the bank.

"Why on earth would someone married for 37 years go 'My only way out of this is to kill my wife for $180,000 life insurance', which wouldn't even pay the mortgage?"

Mr Lynch said the police had never been called to the Hunter home before and neighbours only recalled hearing the odd argument.

"It makes no sense..." he said.

Mr Lynch scrutinised the results of DNA swabs taken throughout the house after Mrs Hunter's murder.

He told the jury there was the presence of DNA from a second contributor on Mrs Hunter's handbag among other DNA profiles around the property.

The prosecution case against Mr Hunter was circumstantial and there was no direct evidence Mr Hunter killed his wife, Mr Lynch said.

But Crown Prosecutor Vicky Loury told the jury in her closing submissions it was the body of circumstantial evidence that proved Mr Hunter killed his wife.

Hunter has always maintained an intruder broke into his home, assaulted him and stole cash on the night Mrs Hunter was murdered.

Ms Loury told the jury Mr Hunter's DNA was found on the metal bar used to kill Mrs Hunter.

She conceded DNA could have been transferred to the bar, which she claimed was from a jack in the garage.

But why would Mr Hunter lie about never having seen the metal bar before, Ms Loury asked.

" distance himself from the murder weapon," she said.

The trial continues.

Topics:  murder

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