Son describes killer's craving for money
Convicted murderer Helen Milner stole from her two children and made one of them pay board from the age of 12 with money earned from his paper round.
Adam Kearns, now 22, said his mother was obsessed with money. He and and his older brother were clothed cheaply and sent to school with little in the way of lunch.
The previously unpublished details from one of Kearns' witness statements to police can be revealed after The Press was granted access to view the court file for his mother's murder trial, which ended in the High Court in Christchurch this week.
A separate witness statement revealed the inner turmoil Milner's eldest son, Greg Kearns, faced when talking to police about his mother. He told them she asked him to "get rid of grandma" after a Christmas Day domestic incident.
Milner, 50, was found guilty on Thursday of the murder and attempted murder of her husband, Philip James Nisbet, 47, a truck driver. Mr Nisbet was found dead in bed at the couple's home in Checketts Ave, Halswell, on May 4, 2009. Police initially concluded he committed suicide.
The Crown said Milner likely mixed the drug Phenergan with her husband's dinner and then may have suffocated him once he was sedated.
The Crown case was that she was motivated by her husband's $250,000 life insurance policy.
Adam Kearns told police he and his brother were deprived because she was obsessed with money.
"She even stole money off us as kids. She would borrow money when she said she was broke and then never pay it back," he said.
Milner forced him to pay board as a 12-year-old, using money from his paper round.
His statement details an incident where his mother stole about $2000 from Mr Nisbet's delivery truck. She also committed fraud by getting rid of her car and claiming insurance on it, he said.
Greg Kearns' statement said he was reluctant to talk to police about his own mother, "despite us having a very rocky relationship over the years".
"I was hoping the police would resolve the issue without me getting involved, but now I feel I have no choice but to express my concerns," he said.
His statement revealed his mother offered him money if he "got rid of grandma [Anne Milner]" after a Christmas Day domestic incident.
"She said there would be tens of thousands from grandma's will and she would pay me from that. I didn't take it seriously and shrugged it off then."
Both sons were suspicious of Milner as soon as they heard of Nisbet's death. Fairfax NZ
- © Fairfax NZ News
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