A Walcha woman accused of murdering her grazier partner to inherit his $4.65 million property has been found guilty of his murder.
Walcha sheep grazier Matthew Dunbar died in his bed in 2017, after drinking a cocktail of sedatives followed by asphyxiation after a helium tank was connected to a plastic bag around his head.
A jury found Natasha Beth Darcy guilty of Dunbar’s murder on Tuesday in the NSW Supreme court, after a two-month long trial and three days of deliberations.
Natasha Darcy claimed Mr Dunbar had taken his own life for reasons regarding his sexuality, a serious leg infection and a history with depression and self-harm. Darcy claimed prior to the trial that she aided Mr Dunbar’s suicide. During the trial, Darcy did not put forward any evidence of assisting the suicide, instead the defence relied on arguing that he took his own life – a notion rejected by the jury.
It was the Crown’s case that Darcy staged a scene to conceal the murder, spreading lies about his physical and mental state and sexuality. Meanwhile, in the opinion of Mr Dunbar’s psychiatrist, he was being “gaslit” and exploited by Darcy, to make the murder look like suicide.
The court heard Darcy googled hundreds of different ways to murder Mr Dunbar. From toxic wild plants, undetectable poisons, plastic bag suffocation to “can police see deleted texts” and “how to commit murder”.
Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467.
MensLine Australia 1300 78 99 78.
*National Domestic Violence Service: 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732). If you are in immediate danger call triple zero (000).