Dulcie Birt
Dulcie Birt Contributed

Killer prayed before releasing murdered woman's body

DULCIE Birt's killer claims he said a prayer before releasing her lifeless body into the water at Jacobs Well.

"I asked God to grant me the strength to do what I had to do and to forgive me," Alwyn Gwilliams yesterday told the coronial inquest into Ms Birt's death.

"I just let her go, she didn't sink like I hoped she would and I thought oh well, that's it ... I turned my back and waded out of the water."

Gwilliams, 44, who is serving a 10-year sentence for manslaughter at the correctional facility in Gatton, was Ms Birt's lover and claims she was killed in a drunken four-wheel drive accident on October 21, 2009 not far from her Riverview home.

He panicked, transferred her body from the back of his ute to the boot of his Holden commodore and disposed of her near one of Ms Birt's favourite camping spots.

Her body has never been found despite extensive searches in the bushland surrounding her Old Ipswich Road property and at Jacobs Well.

Experts told the inquest it was highly unlikely Ms Birt died in the manner that her killer claims as the vehicle in which the alleged accident took place shows none of the damage usually seen in a fatal. Tidal charts and rainfall also rules out Gwilliams leaving Ms Birt in any flowing body of water along the Coast at that time

Gwilliams, who was previously convicted for the assault and torture of a former partner, told deputy state coroner John Lock that he was not a violent man and dismissed as "lies" testimony given by witnesses, including members of his family, about his possessive nature and violent temper.

He denied hitting Ms Birt, 31, despite testimony to the contrary, insisting they "never had arguments, just disagreements".

Gwilliams laughed at suggestions made by Emily Cooper, the counsel assisting the coroner, that he had deliberately killed the mother-of-three and disposed of her body in the bushland near Riverview.

He did not want her body found, said Ms Cooper, because then it would be known how Ms Birt really died.

Gwilliams denied the allegations saying he was in shock and did not go to the police because he was thinking about the welfare of his long-term partner Vivien King, who needed care after suffering a serious motor vehicle accident.

"I was scared, I was in shock, I did not know what to do," he said. "To me Darcy (Dulcie) was dead so what was the point of calling for help.

"I was intoxicated and under the influence of drugs and I did not want to go to jail. There would be no one to look after Vivien. She had just come out of a coma and I was her carer. She was my primary concern."

The inquest continues.

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