Woman found guilty of murdering partner

Natasha Darcy has been found guilty of murdering her grazier partner Mathew Dunbar.
Natasha Darcy has been found guilty of murdering her grazier partner Mathew Dunbar.

After sedating and gassing her grazier partner to inherit his property, Natasha Beth Darcy screamed at paramedics to keep on performing CPR after they declared him to be dead.

Darcy kept up her theatrics, telling authorities and first responders repeated lies, maintaining Mathew Dunbar had killed himself.

But after more than two days deliberations, a NSW Supreme Court jury on Tuesday found the 46-year-old guilty of murdering the sheep farmer.

The 42-year-old was found dead in his bed on his Pandora property in the Northern Tablelands town of Walcha on August 2, 2017.

The couple met on a dating website in 2014, but the Crown contended it didn't take long for Darcy to start pushing for Mr Dunbar to change his will so she would inherit his $3.5 million property.

It also didn't take long for her to start researching ways to kill him, via numerous Google searches on topics including redback spiders, fungi, suicide and "how to commit murder", prosecutor Brett Hatfield said.

"He may have desperately wanted love and a family, but what did he get?" he said.

"A cold and calculating person who was determined to kill him and inherit his wealth."

She had form, as was revealed in agreed facts relating to her estranged husband, paramedic Colin Crossman.

In 2009, she hit him on the head with a hammer as he slept and days later sedated him and burnt down their house as he slept.

Referring to a $700,000 life insurance policy on his life, Mr Hatfield said it showed Darcy had a "tendency to sedate and inflict serious harm on her domestic partners for financial gain".

Co-incidentally, he was one of the paramedics to turn up to Pandora on August 2 after Darcy rang triple zero.

After Mr Dunbar was declared to be dead, "Natasha screamed she wanted us to keep doing CPR, to keep going".

She told him Mr Dunbar had just received bad news from a specialist about a leg injury and said she would be better off without him.

She told police he also said: "You know just because the cops took my guns doesn't mean I still can't kill myself."

The Crown had rejected Darcy's plea of guilty to aiding or abetting suicide.

In her summing up, Justice Julia Lonergan directed the jurors to entirely put out of their minds the issue of assisted suicide, reminding them of the absence of any evidence about such a scenario.

In support of Darcy's claim that her partner had killed himself, her barrister Janet Manuel SC cited the grazier's leg injury, his depression, a suicide threat in June 2017 and his subsequent admission into a psychiatric unit.

She also referred to his confused sexuality and the suicide death of a close friend.

But Mr Hatfield said Darcy "exploited" Mr Dunbar's depression to kill him in a way to make it look like suicide.

Despite Darcy claiming the grazier had received bad news about his leg the day before his death, his orthopaedic surgeon testified to telling him he had been "extremely happy" with his improvement.

Darcy was accused of sedating her live-in partner using a Nutribullet to blend a cocktail of sedatives, before moving a gas tank into his room and gassing him in his bed.

She told police of finding him unresponsive in his bed, saying ""This is the hardest bit of all. I can't get the image out of my head."

"It is killing me," Darcy said.

The jury was told of a letter Darcy sent to a friend after Mr Dunbar's death, offering her $20,000 to tell lies about him that would assist her at any murder trial.

She will face a sentence hearing on October 1.

Australian Associated Press