Natasha Darcy at Pandora, the property where Mathew Dunbar’s body was found in August, 2017. Picture: Nathan Edwards.
Natasha Darcy at Pandora, the property where Mathew Dunbar’s body was found in August, 2017. Picture: Nathan Edwards.

Accused husband killer to remain in jail

A WOMAN accused of killing her grazier husband has sobbed in court as a judge refused to release her from jail pending her trial on alleged murder, Nine News has reported.

Natasha Beth Darcy is charged with the murder of popular local Walcha sheep farmer Mathew Dunbar, 42.

She appeared via video link from prison in the NSW Supreme Court on Thursday to make an application for bail.

Mr Dunbar's body was found connected to a helium gas canister at his property, Pandora, outside Walcha in the NSW Northern Tablelands in the early hours of August 2, 2017.

Soon afterwards, police arrested Ms Darcy, a local widow who had been living with Mr Dunbar at the property since entering a romantic relationship with him.

Locals knew Mr Dunbar as a "gentle, kind" man who had dreamt of having his own family after being adopted as a baby.

In court hearings since her arrest, Ms Darcy has denied responsibility for Mr Dunbar's death, and has maintained he took his own life.

The Crown alleges Ms Darcy murdered Mr Dunbar and made it appear he had committed suicide, the NSW Supreme Court heard on Thursday.

Natasha Darcy and Walcha sheep farmer Mathew Dunbar.
Natasha Darcy and Walcha sheep farmer Mathew Dunbar.

Ms Darcy's defence counsel provided evidence of the farmer's mental health issues including his antidepressant prescription.

"The circumstances of death seem to me he had ingested a cocktail of sedatives drugs before retiring," Justice Campbell said at the bail application hearing.

Google searches made on Mr Dunbar's and Ms Darcy's phones read out in court included "Does helium show up in an autopsy"on Mr Dunbar's phone on the night of his death.

Justice Campbell said internet searches made before that night on Ms Darcy's phone including "suicide bag", "euthanasia device" and "helium filled exit bag".

"The applicant says she and the deceased used one or the other's device to make internet searches and that's a matter a jury can consider," Justice Campbell said.

The court heard that the cocktail of sedative drugs ingested by Mr Dunbar, included animal medications and had been mixed in a NutriBullet.

Mathew Dunbar was a ‘gentle’ man.
Mathew Dunbar was a ‘gentle’ man.

The court was also told Ms Darcy had become the beneficiary of Mr Dunbar's valuable farming property.

Ms Darcy's defence counsel said that in the months before his death, Mr Dunbar had been prescribed the drug Zoloft, used to treat suicidal and self-harm mental symptoms.

Mr Dunbar was placed in a mental health facility after he had taken a gun and threatened suicide two months before his death, the court was told.

But Justice Campbell said he had to consider Ms Darcy had previously set a house on fire in 2012.
She had also been jailed in 2015 for using a previous partner's credit card, making false representations to police and attempting to convince the partner to change his evidence.

Prosecutors alleged in court about Ms Darcy that she "has a tendency to fabricate evidence and effectively come up and enact very elaborate schemes to support her own innocence".

On Thursday, Ms Darcy wept as NSW Supreme Court as Justice Stephen Campbell denied her bail application.

Ms Darcy is charged with the alleged murder of Mathew Dunbar at his sheep farming property in 2017.
Ms Darcy is charged with the alleged murder of Mathew Dunbar at his sheep farming property in 2017.
The Walcha property in August 2017, after Mr Dunbar’s body was found connected to a helium canister.
The Walcha property in August 2017, after Mr Dunbar’s body was found connected to a helium canister.
Natasha Darcy sobbed as she was refused bail.
Natasha Darcy sobbed as she was refused bail.

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