Mum denies killing with murderous intent

04:16, Feb 11 2014
Lucille Sarah Scollay
MURDEROUS INTENT?: The Crown will try to prove Lucille Sarah Scollay had murderous intent or knew her actions were likely to cause death.

A son has told a court of being woken up by the screams of his mother, who told him she had stabbed his father.

Giving evidence at the murder trial of his mother, Lucille Scollay, in Christchurch today, Louis Scollay, 20, said his mother screamed and said: "What have I done?"

Scollay denies the charge of murdering Guy Christian Scollay, 48, who was stabbed to death at the house the couple shared in Edgeware Rd, Christchurch early on February 10, 2013.

Louis Scollay said his mother came into his room and said she had stabbed his father, Guy.

She put pressure on the chest wound with a towel while Louis Scollay called 111.

Scollay continued trying to stop the bleeding, and saying she was sorry, Louis Scollay said.

She told her husband: "If you are going to do one thing in your life, come out of this alive."

Louis Scollay said his father was saying, "It's all right. Everything's OK."

He kept trying to keep his father alive, telling him to hold on, but he was dying quickly.

Police and ambulance arrived and took over, and soon told him that his father had died.

Louis Scollay said his parents' relationship was "riddled with disappointment". They suffered from depression and anxiety and had both been very unmotivated.

His father was fearful of outdoor spaces and would seldom go anywhere. His mother often stayed in bed until 3pm.

Both had been on the methadone programme and his father was on the programme when he died. His father sometimes smoked cannabis.

His parents had a strong bond and a loving relationship though they were dysfunctional on a day-to-day level, Louis Scollay said.

His mother had never threatened to leave. What she wanted most was to have a normal life with her husband, the court heard.

Earlier today, Scollay's former lover gave evidence of her being was in despair about her husband and their marriage the night she stabbed him.

The man gave evidence of meeting Scollay in January 2013, years after the two had had an affair.

They went out in Christchurch on the evening of February 9, 2013, watching cricket, drinking beers and visiting a bar.

When he dropped her off at her home she became distraught and emotional and was crying.

"It all came gushing out," he said.

Scollay had said she loved Guy Scollay but she was unhappy with him because he seemed to be getting very difficult in terms of understanding him or living with him.

"She felt she had wasted her life and could not see things getting any better."

The man said he wanted to comfort her, and told her to "hang in there" because things would work out.

He told her to be strong, and not do anything rash. She had recovered some composure when they parted and she walked up the driveway to her house, he said.

The Crown had earlier told the court an upset Scollay had stabbed her husband through the heart as he slept.

Scollay, 45, wept in court as the Crown outlined the case against her in the trial which is expected to last just three days in the High Court in Christchurch.

The Crown will call evidence from 19 witnesses before Justice Cameron Mander and a jury.

Crown prosecutor Mark Zarifeh said the stabbing arose from Lucille Scollay's "disappointment, dissatisfaction, and frustration with her husband and his problems, and with their relationship".

The couple had been married for more than 20 years. For some considerable years the relationship had not been good. Both had had problems with morphine addiction and had been on the methadone programme. Both suffered from depression and took medication, he said.

Guy Scollay suffered from anxiety attacks and rarely left the house. He had an honours degree in history but his health issues had overtaken any prospects he had. He did not really have any social life outside the house, although his wife and son would try to encourage him to go out, Zarifeh said.

Scollay told police that she decided to stab her husband as she walked up the driveway to the house. She took a knife from the kitchen, rolled her sleeping husband onto his back in his bed, and then straddled him and stabbed him in the chest, Zarifeh said.

She immediately called for help from their son, and the ambulance was called, but the medics were unable to revive Guy Scollay.

The Crown would say that at the time of the stabbing, Scollay had murderous intent. If the Crown could prove that, it was murder, but if not it was manslaughter. It was also murder if she meant to cause bodily injury, knowing that it was likely to cause death, and she was reckless whether death occurred, Zarifeh said.

Scollay had decided she needed to do something about the situation with her husband. She told police that she loved him, but could not help him, and could not leave him, Zarifeh said.

She had said: "Otherwise we were going to be stuck like that forever. I didn't think I would do it, but I did."

Defence counsel Rupert Glover said Scollay had not intended to kill her husband, but her actions had been an attempt to make him listen to her "to try to change their desperate, desperate lives".

Her actions had been building up over 20 years. She had watched her obviously quite brilliant husband deteriorate to the point where he would spend all day in bed often drugged to the point where he could not even make sense to her.

"What really happened is that the pressures building up over a period of 20 years got to the point where she simply broke," Glover said.

The only possible verdicts were either guilty of murder, or not guilty of murder but guilty of manslaughter. Scollay accepted without reservation that her actions resulted in the death of her husband. What was really on trial was the state of her mind at the time, he said.


Louis Scollay
TRIED TO SAVE FATHER: Louis Scollay, pictured in Feburary 2013, called 111 after the fatal stabbing.

The Press