9 Dec 2013

Son admits trying to bribe accused

7:42 pm on 9 December 2013

The son of a woman charged with murdering her husband has admitted trying to bribe her in return for not going to police.

Helen Milner, 50, faces one charge of murder and two of attempted murder at the High Court in Christchurch over the death of Philip Nisbet in 2009.

On Monday, evidence was heard from Mrs Milner's son from an earlier marriage, Adam Kearns, who admitted asking her for a $20,000 bribe.

The figure was the same amount Mrs Milner allegedly offered Mr Kearns and another of her sons in return for killing her husband.

Under cross-examination, Mr Kearns admitted that his relationship with Mr Nisbet was not always positive. He said Mr Nisbet didn't want him to live with the couple, and that he broke Mr Nisbet's jaw during a fight.

The court was told the accused was seen by her son putting a blue powder into Panadol capsules two months before Mr Nisbet died.

Adam Kearns said his mother often talked about wanting to kill Mr Nisbet and even went into the details of how she would do it.

He said this included comments on crushing glass and putting it in mashed potatoes and using the antihistamine Phenergan, which Mr Nisbet was allergic to.

Mr Kearns told the court he didn't think his mother had it in her to kill Mr Nisbet and treated her remarks as a joke.

However, he said one evening he discovered her crushing up pills and putting them into Panadol capsules, prompting him to call his mother a murderer and declare that he was moving out of her home.

Adam Kearns said he warned Mr Nisbet that his mother was trying to kill him, but said Mr Nisbet laughed it off.