Accused killer wife fed husband drugged soup: police
A 66-year-old woman allegedly plotted the death of her husband over several days, cooking him soup laced with drugs before slitting his wrists with a knife she asked him to sharpen one day earlier, police claim.
Lance Hilton Venn, 64, was found dead in bed at his Alexandra Hills home on August 14, allegedly killed by his wife of more than four decades after he bought a $20,000 boat.
Judith Ann Venn, 66, was on Monday charged over her husband's alleged premeditated killing at the couple's bayside address.
She briefly faced the Cleveland Magistrates Court on Tuesday charged with the domestic violence murder after police attended the couple's Jasmine St home at 10.30am last Friday to find the man dead.
Police allege Venn put her husband to sleep with prescription medication before cutting his wrists with a blade after he bought a $20,000 boat in the days before his death.
It is understood she allegedly planned his death over several days, making a drug-laced soup the day before she is accused of poisoning her husband.
The Courier-Mail can reveal police will allege Venn put a significant number of her husband's prescription drugs, which she had previously bought from a chemist, into the soup.
It is understood Mr Venn had suffered from bipolar for much of his life.
Police claim Venn gave her husband the soup the morning after she made it before placing him on a bed and cutting his wrists with a knife she allegedly asked him to sharpen for her one day earlier.
Before Mr Venn became unconscious, he allegedly lashed out at his wife and assaulted her, The Courier-Mail understands.
Police will allege Venn also ate the soup and herself had to be resuscitated.
Emergency services were called to the home after a family member phoned triple-0.
When paramedics arrived they found Venn had cut her own wrists and stabbed herself, allegedly in an effort to commit suicide, it is understood.
She was later taken to the Princess Alexandra Hospital before being charged with her husband's murder.
The pair were devout Christians and have several children.
It is understood Venn allegedly claimed her husband would not have committed suicide because it was a sin, which would stop him going to heaven.
Residents in the street where the alleged murder occurred told The Courier-Mail they were in shock after Venn's arrest.
A neighbour said there were no outward signs of trouble and Mr Venn was often tinkering on his boat outside the property.
The man, who asked not to be named, said Mr Venn had just finished painting his boat after returning from a trip.
"You never know what goes on behind closed doors, I suppose," the neighbour said.
The Venns were described by other nearby residents as "good neighbours" who mostly kept to themselves and "never had arguments".
Neighbours Daniel and Sheneyse Burgess said the couple seemed friendly and Mr Venn often pulled out weeds for neighbours and mowed others front lawns.
Mr Burgess, who lives directly next to the Venns, said they were "your typical old couple".
He said he had not seen them much during the past month.
Venn, who has no criminal history, could not apply for bail on Tuesday because of the serious nature of the charge against her.
Magistrate Deborah Vasta remanded Venn in custody until her next court appearance.
Defence solicitor Sam Wildermuth adjourned the matter until October 29, when Venn will return to court at Cleveland.
He told The Courier-Mail Venn would be defending the charge.
The police investigation is ongoing.
- Additional reporting Marcel Baum.
Originally published as Accused killer wife fed husband drugged soup: police