The husband of an accused murderer asked police “were there intruders?” before he learnt any details of how his mother died, a court has heard.
The husband of an accused murderer asked police “were there intruders?” before he learnt any details of how his mother died, a court has heard.

Husband of alleged murderer: ‘Were there intruders?’

The husband of murder accused Caroline Dela Rose Nilsson asked police "were there intruders?" before he learnt any details of how his mother died, a court has heard.

Sergeant Darren Mead told a Supreme Court jury on Tuesday he visited Mark Nilsson at his work after his mother, Myrna Nilsson, was found dead at their Valley View home on September 30, 2016.

His wife, 29-year-old Caroline Nilsson, is standing trial having pleaded not guilty to her mother-in-law's murder.

Under cross-examination by defence counsel, Sgt Mead said he told Mr Nilsson, a security guard at the Repatriation Hospital, there had been an "incident at home" and his mother passed away.

The police officer told the jury he had given Mr Nilsson no information as to the circumstances of the death when the guard asked "has my wife been hurt?" and "were there intruders or something?"

The court heard Mr Nilsson appeared to be in "shock and awe" but did not cry and was "quite matter of fact about any comment he made".

He was taken to Modbury Hospital to see his wife, where a different police officer told him his mother was suspected of being murdered.

Sgt Mead agreed that, at that point, he appeared to become upset and cry, however he was still "in control of his emotions".

Neighbours of the family have told the trial they found Caroline Nilsson with her hands and feet bound near the front of their home that night.

On Monday, a woman who tried to calm her said she could smell fabric softener as she lay close to her, and a paramedic said her hair was clean and consistent with having been blow-dried.

Prosecutors allege she bludgeoned her mother-in-law to death in the laundry of the house they shared, then told police they were the victims of a violent home invasion.

The court has heard she told them that two or three men with "loud and angry voices" assaulted her, tied her up with speaker wire and tape, and ransacked the house.

It is alleged traces of the drug tramadol were found in hair samples taken from two of Nilsson's three children, then aged five and three, two months after the death.

Myrna Nilsson was found dead in her Valley View home in 2016. Her daughter-in-law has been charged with her murder. Picture: Supplied
Myrna Nilsson was found dead in her Valley View home in 2016. Her daughter-in-law has been charged with her murder. Picture: Supplied

Also on Tuesday, Senior Constable Matthew McCarthy told the jury that he entered the house and found her five-year-old son with his eyes glazed "in a … dazed state".

He agreed the boy was in shock and distraught, and he found the other two children lying face down on a bed.

"I thought they were dead when I first went in there," he said.

Lawyers for Nilsson have told the court she did not kill her mother-in-law, and have denied she "bound and gagged herself" and put on a performance.

The trial is continuing before Justice Chris Bleby.

*For 24-hour domestic violence support call the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or MensLine on 1800 600 636. 

Originally published as Husband of alleged murderer: 'Were there intruders?'



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