Suicide note: 'All my love allways'
Police found no evidence to suggest Philip James Nisbet ever misspelled "allways" like it was in a suicide note given to them after his death.
Helen Milner, 50, is charged with the murder and attempted murder of her husband, Nisbet, 47, who was found dead in bed at the couple's home in Checketts Ave, Halswell on May 4, 2009.
The Crown alleges Milner drugged Nisbet by mixing Phenergan with his food and then may have suffocated him while he was sedated.
They also allege she fabricated two suicide notes and a suicide text as she tried to cover her tracks.
Detective Inspector Greg Murton told the jury a homicide enquiry was launched after he reviewed details of the initial investigation in May 2011.
Family, friends and work colleagues of the couple were interviewed, phone records examined, the original suicide note fingerprinted and Milner's home raided twice before she was arrested on October 27, 2011, Murton said.
They also took a close look at the suicide note and a suicide text found after Nisbet's death.
The suicide note provided to police ended "All my love allways, Phil" and that passage was highlighted to the jury.
The spelling of "allways" was compared with documents and text messages obtained from Nisbet, Milner and her new boyfriend Barry Hayton.
They found no evidence that Nisbet or Milner misspelled "allways", but they identified Hayton often did.
Yesterday, Hayton gave evidence that: "I spell things the way you say it."
In an earlier statement to police, Milner said: "What I see now is that Phil finished it off now with 'all my love allways', which is how he spelt it."
Other inconsistencies with the suicide note and suicide text were highlighted to the jury, this morning.
During a police raid at Milner's home on August 12, 2011, Murton said he asked her why after finding the note it took nearly two months for her to contact police about it.
"I'm not going to talk about that," she told Murton at the time.
"How do you expect me to remember everything from day one of my life? I'm going to exercise my right to silence."
Police found two fingerprints on the suicide note. One was identified as a detective's and the other was unknown. They could not tell if it was Nisbet's because they did not have his finger prints, Murton said.
During an earlier raid at the home, Milner pointed police to a packet of Phenergan she said she had shown police at her home on the morning her husband died. It was kept in a gold box in the bathroom. Police found a packet of 25mg-strength Phenergan, but ten pills were missing from the packet.
The jury has previously heard evidence that police could not find that packet of Phenergan on the day Nisbet died. It has also heard the strength of the tablets were lower.
Murton said the homicide investigation was hampered by the period of time that had lapsed since Nisbet's death. Police were unable to pull any useful data off Milner's computer and some text message data could not be retrieved, he said.
The evidence emerged this morning during day 10 of a trial at the High Court in Christchurch.
The Crown case has now concluded. Milner's defence will begin their case on Monday.
- © Fairfax NZ News