Peggy Wyborn is accused of murdering 70-year-old Neil McCarthy.
Peggy Wyborn is accused of murdering 70-year-old Neil McCarthy.

Mum, 28, faces trial over death

TOOWOOMBA mother Peggy Louise Wyborn, 28, has been committed to stand trial for murder over the death of 70-year-old Neil McCarthy.

Mr McCarthy died in Royal Brisbane Hospital three weeks after being found unconscious on the footpath outside 7 Robsart Street, North Toowoomba, on the night of March 12 last year.

He had burns to his face, head, inner mouth and throat which police believe was caused by a hot liquid or chemical, possibly thrown or poured over him.

Mr McCarthy was rushed to Toowoomba Hospital with a blistered and bleeding face, but was later transferred to Royal Brisbane Hospital.

He never regained consciousness.

Arresting officer Detective Sergeant Scott Stahlhut told Wyborn’s committal hearing in Toowoomba Magistrates Court yesterday that when he attended the scene and spoke to Wyborn he noticed she had blood on her right foot.

A bloody footprint was also found on tiles just inside the front door of the house next to a half-full cup of water, the court heard.

Det. Sgt Stahlhut said Wyborn at first said she didn’t know how the blood got on her foot, but in a second interview with police some weeks later she changed her story, saying she had stood on a stone outside the home that night and the blood on her foot was hers.

However, the blood on her foot, as well as blood found elsewhere, was later matched by forensic testing to Mr McCarthy.

The court heard Wyborn and her children had moved in with Mr McCarthy for some months earlier last year.

Det. Sgt Stahlhut said though police checks found Wyborn had no criminal history, she had been a suspect early into the investigation.

While nothing was aired in court as to what police believed had actually happened at the Robsart Street residence that night, forensic pathologist Dr Alex Olumbe put the cause of death down to deep vein thrombosis which led to blood clots in Mr McCarthy’s heart.

Under cross examination by Wyborn’s barrister Robbie Davies, Dr Olumbe agreed Mr McCarthy was in poor health before the incident with several potentially fatal heart conditions.

At the conclusion of the hearing, Mr Davies consented to his client being committed to trial.

Magistrate Kay Ryan committed Wyborn to stand trial in the Toowoomba Supreme Court at a date to be set.

She remains on Supreme Court bail.

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