SILENT AUCTION: GPC will offer used furniture to the public in a silent auction. (generic image)
SILENT AUCTION: GPC will offer used furniture to the public in a silent auction. (generic image) stocksnapper

Blackwater man jailed after bath tub poisoning

WHAT should have been a relaxing bath, filled by a caring husband, became a nightmare after a Blackwater man poisoned it.

And prosecutors say we may never know the motive.

But the man will be spending the next 10 months behind bars after he created a "toxic" mixture, disguised it as bath lotion, and had his wife bathe in it until she ultimately lost consciousness.

In the Emerald District Court yesterday, the man, now 32, pleaded guilty to one charge of administering a poison or noxious thing with intent to harm in an act the judge labelled as "calculated, premeditated and callous".

The man used bendiocarb, used in insecticides, to mix into and create what he would pass off as a bath lotion to be used by his then wife.

The court heard that on August 3, 2011, the defendant's now ex-wife was surprised to find he had drawn her a bath.

He said he had done so to help her relax and had added the lotion, which he said he had purchased.

The victim lost consciousness in the bath, but the defendant pulled her out, washed her skin off in the shower and revived her.

She experienced vomiting and diarrhoea and asked him to take her to the hospital.

He lied and said he had already called them.

Eventually he took her to the hospital for treatment.

Crown Prosecutor Jodie Wooldridge said the defendant created "a toxic mixture under the guise of bath lotion" in a water bottle.

She said the victim was poisoned due to "exposure through the skin".

Various substances were found in a search of a shed at the couple's property.

A mask was also found in the laundry.

The defendant and the victim had been having issues because he was still in contact with an ex-girlfriend.

He is now married to that woman and has a newborn child with her.

Ms Wooldridge said the offence was "clearly a serious offence" and that his "motives may never be known".

"He devised a plan," she said.

"(The victim) was emotionally manipulated into thinking he was caring for her."

His Honour Judge Michael Burnett said the defendant, who had previously worked at the BMA Blackwater Mine for four years as a superintendent, had shown little co-operation with the system, after he initially lied to police and denied the charges.

"The offending itself is troubling," Judge Burnett said.

"It is obvious your affections were elsewhere."

Judge Burnett sentenced the man to two years and three months in prison, to be suspended after serving 10 months.

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