Man pushed wheelchair-bound wife into pond ‘so he could move to be with other woman in China’

Chiara Giordano
Screen grab from 9 News video of Peter Dansie, 71, who has been jailed for 25 years without parole after murdering his wheelchair-bound wife Helen Dansie, 67, in 2017 by pushing her wheelchair into a pond in Adelaide, Australia: 9 News/screen grab

A man who killed his wheelchair-bound wife by pushing her into a pond has been jailed for at least 25 years.

Peter Dansie, 71, drowned Helen Dansie, 67, in a public garden in Adelaide, Australia, because his feelings for her had diminished and he wanted to pursue a sexual relationship with a woman in China, a court heard.

Police searched Dansie’s home about a month after his wife’s death and discovered a suitcase filled with sex toys, Viagra, condoms and lingerie the day before he was due to fly to China.

Justice David Lovell described Ms Dansie’s murder as the “ultimate act of domestic violence” as he sentenced Dansie to 25 years without parole on Thursday, ABC News reports.

During the trial, prosecutors alleged Dansie drowned his wife, a former microbiologist who suffered a stroke in the 1990s, because he saw her as a financial burden.

On Easter Sunday 2017, Dansie took his wife for a walk at Veale Gardens, in Adelaide Parklands, where he claims she accidentally fell into a pond.

During his trial a court heard how Dansie told police he climbed into the water and attempted to rescue his wife but got out to call emergency services.

However prosecutors rejected his version of events, arguing his story was implausible.

Police divers recovered Ms Dansie's body and wheelchair from water about 1.5 metres deep.

Justice Lovell said Ms Dansie’s only mistake was to trust her husband of more than 40 years.

In a statement read outside of court, Ms Dansie’s cousin Grant Battersby said her husband’s sentence was “thoroughly deserved”.

He added: “Peter Dansie carefully, coldly, callously, planned Helen’s murder over weeks and months. He probably didn’t expect to be caught and punished.”

Ms Dansie’s friend Eugenia Giorgio also read a statement on behalf of the couple’s son Grant Damise, saying: “We are very satisfied that justice has been done and can say that we hope this sends a message about protecting the rights of the vulnerable.”

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