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Woman guilty of murdering her partner in Adelaide with toxic cocktail: Wendie-Sue Dent

Lover is found guilty of murdering her boyfriend with a poisonous cocktail of drugs – after she insists she didn’t kill him to get his hands on his $400,000 estate

  • Wendie-Sue Dent was found guilty of murder for the second time on Thursday
  • Denied killing her de facto lover David Lawrence in 2015 for his $400,000 estate
  • Originally convicted in 2020, but the verdict was overturned on appeal
  • Under South Australia’s criminal laws, Dent will be given a life sentence
  • But submissions related to a non-parole period will be heard at a later date

A woman who poisoned her partner with a poisonous cocktail of prescription drugs, including morphine, valium and tramadol, has been found guilty of murder for the second time.

Wendie-Sue Dent denied murdering her de facto lover David Lawrence at the Adelaide home they shared in December 2015 to claim his $400,000 estate.

The NSW woman was the beneficiary of his $175,000 retirement fund and was also about to inherit the $235,000 home.

Wendie-Sue Dent (pictured) denied murdering her de facto lover David Lawrence at the Adelaide home they shared in December 2015 to claim his $400,000 estate

Wendie-Sue Dent (pictured) denied murdering her de facto lover David Lawrence at the Adelaide home they shared in December 2015 to claim his $400,000 estate

Dent was originally convicted by a jury in April 2020 but was later overturned on appeal.

After a second trial by only a judge, Supreme Court Justice Sophie David found her guilty again on Thursday.

Justice David said prosecutors had argued that Dent had told many lies in the days and months after Mr Lawrence’s death, out of guilt to set a false lead.

Justice Sophie David said prosecutors had argued that in the days and months after Mr Lawrence's death, Dent told many lies, out of guilt to set a false lead (photo, Dent viewing the crime scene in 2019)

Justice Sophie David said prosecutors had argued that in the days and months after Mr Lawrence’s death, Dent told many lies, out of guilt to set a false lead (photo, Dent viewing the crime scene in 2019)

Defense counsel said there was no direct evidence that Dent had administered the deadly drugs and that it remained possible that Mr. Lawrence had administered himself for pain relief.

“Despite the arguments of the defense, I am convinced beyond reasonable doubt that Mrs. Dent administered the prescribed medicines to the deceased,” the judge said.

“I am convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that this act or acts caused the death of the deceased, that her act or acts which caused the death of the deceased were without any lawful excuse or justification, and that at the time they administered the drugs that caused the death of the deceased had a specific intent to kill him.’

Under SA criminal laws, Dent will be jailed for life, but submissions regarding a non-parole period will be heard at a later date.

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