Canberra man Donald Morley, 92, is accused of suffocating his 69-year-old wife to death with a pillow, as he is alleged to have left a suicide note at their Fisher home.
- Donald Morley is charged with murder of wife
- He allegedly tried to take his own life afterwards.
- His bail application will be decided on Wednesday.
- 1800 RESPECT, Lifeline on 13 11 14
A 92-year-old man accused of killing his wife of nearly seven decades by suffocating her with a pillow allegedly left a note saying the couple were afraid of the future.
Donald Morley has been charged with murder after his wife Jean, also 92, was found dead inside their home in Fisher, a Canberra suburb, on Monday.
Heartbreaking details about his tragic death emerged as Morley faced an ACT Magistrates Court hearing from his hospital bed via video on Tuesday.
The court was told Morley admitted to killing his wife of 69 years when a registered nurse made a routine visit to the couple’s home on Monday afternoon.
Donald Morley (left) stands accused of killing his wife of 69 years Jean (right)
“I did a terrible thing,” Morley reportedly told the nurse, the Canberra Times informed.
I suffocated her with a pillow last night.
The court also heard that Morley attempted to take his own life several times after his wife’s death.
Police allege a note was found that read in part: “After 69 years of marriage, we were both afraid of the future.”
“Please don’t call this a murder-suicide,” Morley reportedly wrote.
“I’m sorry to bother all of our family and friends, this was not easy for me, especially my dear.”
Legal Aid lawyers applied for bail on Morley’s behalf.
“It’s a minimal risk to the community and others,” attorney Nathan Deakes said.
Prosecutor Caitlin Diggins acknowledged that it was a “distressing situation” but opposed bail out of fear that Morley might make another attempt on his life.
Jean Morley (pictured) reportedly suffocated to death on a pillow
Magistrate Jane Campbell agreed with Morley’s lawyer that he posed no threat to the community, but asked where he would live if bail was granted.
“He has nowhere to go, his house is a crime scene,” the prosecutor told the court.
The magistrate adjourned the case until Wednesday and a decision on Morley’s bail application was expected by Wednesday afternoon.
The homicide investigation into the death of Ms. Morley continues.
“We are exploring all avenues of investigation in relation to any conversations or incidents that may have taken place prior to the death of the woman,” acting Detective Matthew Innes told reporters.
Police continue to search the couple’s Canberra home (pictured), where Donald Morley and his wife Jean lived for 45 years.
‘The search continues in the house. From a forensic standpoint, it has been completed, but investigators are still searching the facility at this stage for any information that may help us in relation to this lady’s death.
He added that police were unaware of any history of domestic violence between the couple.
Police also indicated that Morley was likely the oldest person charged with murder in the ACT.
If you or someone you know needs help, please contact 1800RESPECT (1800 737 732), Lifeline on 13 11 14 or beyondblue on 1300 224 636.