Milner murder trial jury retires

04:26, Dec 18 2013
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Justice David Gendall addresses the court during the trial of Helen Elizabeth Milner, a 50-year-old woman on trial in the High Court in Christchurch, Crown alleges she drugged and probably suffocated her husband and claimed he had committed suicide.
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MURDER TRIAL: Helen Milner listens to evidence in the Christchurch High Court.
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Helen Milner Murder Trial in the Christchurch High Court. Ceri James Benger gives evidence.
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Helen Milner Murder Trial in the Christchurch High Court. Richard Prosser.
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Helen Milner Murder Trial in the Christchurch High Court. Allan Stanley Grogan gives evidence via videolink in Australia.
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Helen Milner Murder Trial in the Christchurch High Court. Scott Anderson gives evidence.
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Helen Milner Murder Trial in the Christchurch High Court. Wayne Temple gives evidence.
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Helen Milner Murder Trial in the Christchurch High Court. Funeral Director Glen Rossiter-Campbell gives evidence.
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Helen Milner Murder Trial in the Christchurch High Court. Detective Janelle Kerr gives evidence.
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Helen Milner Murder Trial in the Christchurch High Court. Joseph Power gives evidence.
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Helen Milner Murder Trial in the Christchurch High Court. Gregory McGale gives evidence.
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Helen Milner Murder Trial in the Christchurch High Court. Hugh McLachlan gives evidence.
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Helen Milner Murder Trial in the Christchurch High Court. Lee-Anne Cartier gives evidence.
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Helen Milner Murder Trial in the Christchurch High Court. Lee-Anne Cartier gives evidence.
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Helen Milner Murder Trial in the Christchurch High Court. Lee-Anne Cartier gives evidence.
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Crown prosecutor Brent Stanaway address the court during the trial of Helen Elizabeth Milner, a 50-year-old woman on trial in the High Court in Christchurch, Crown alleges she drugged and probably suffocated her husband and claimed he had committed suicide.
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SON TESTIFIES: Helen Milner's son Adam Kearns gives evidence in his mother's murder trial at the Christchurch High Court.
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Kasey Woodstock gives evidence in the Christchurch High Court.
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Helen Milner in court as the jury find her guilty of her husband's murder.
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EVIDENCE PHOTOS: Police compiled a book of photos of evidence relating to the murder.
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EVIDENCE PHOTOS: Police compiled a book of photos of evidence relating to the murder.
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EVIDENCE PHOTOS: Police compiled a book of photos of evidence relating to the murder.

A jury deliberating on the fate of murder accused Helen Milner has adjourned for the night.

The jury retired to consider the verdict at about 11.05am when the judge finished summing up.

Justice David Gendall said the Crown claimed to have a strong circumstantial case against Milner, while the defence said it was impossible to be sure that the charges against her could be proved beyond reasonable doubt.

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ACCUSED: Helen Milner listens to evidence while on trial for the murder of her husband.

Judge Gendall was summing up on the 13th day of the trial of 50-year-old Milner in the High Court at Christchurch where she denies two charges of attempting to murder her husband Philip James Nisbet, 47, in April 2009, and  of murdering him the following month.

The trial heard two weeks of Crown evidence, and defence evidence on Monday. Closing addresses by both sides were put to the jury yesterday.

The Crown alleged that she poisoned her husband with the anti-allergy and sedative drug Phenergan and then smothered him as he lay sedated in bed. It claims she then tried to make the death seem a suicide.

Crown prosecutor Brent Stanaway yesterday described some of the suicide notes claimed to have been written by  Nisbet as a Mills and Boon style concoction by Milner. He said she had committed murder to collect her husband's $250,000 life insurance policy.

Defence counsel Rupert Glover said it would be "hugely dangerous to convict this woman on such an orchestrated body of tendentious evidence". He said some of the most important aspects of the evidence had been given by Milner's son and his partner - "witnesses so devoured by malice and venom that they didn't even take the trouble to make their lies consistent".

Jury members will return to their homes overnight if they do not complete their deliberations by late afternoon, and resume their discussions at the Court House tomorrow.

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