A woman who was "desperate" to have children is accused of murdering a mother of four so she could raise her children as her own, a court has heard.
Christine Lyons, 47, and Ron Lyons, 45 (who are not believed to be related), are each facing one charge of murder and one charge of attempted murder of 39-year-old Samantha Kelly in 2016.
Ms Kelly and her four children, aged 11 months to six years, lived in a bungalow on a property at Kangaroo Flat, Bendigo where the Lyons’ lived along with Ms Lyon’s partner, Peter Arthur and Mr Lyons’ three children. Ms Kelly was found partially buried with blunt-force trauma to her head. on January 23, 2016.
Peter Arthur, who was in a relationship with Ms Lyons’ at the time, has admitted to murdering Ms Kelly after striking her to the head with a hammer at least seven times, reports The Age.
Ms Kelly’s body was found with a cocktail of prescription drugs, including the sedative Temazepam, which had been reportedly prescribed to Ms Lyons.
The prosecution argued that when Ms Kelly did not die from the “cocktail” of sedatives the trio gave her, Arthur went to her bungalow and murdered her, reports 9 News.
During the opening arguments of the pair’s trial, the court heard of Ms Lyons’ “powerful desire” to have a family, with prosecutor Fran Dalziel alleging the mens’ devotion to her had led them to carry out the crime.
"Christine Lyons had a powerful desire to have a family, to have children of her own, and the two men... wanted to give her what she desperately wanted," said Ms Dalziel.
"Both men were devoted to her and they knew she desperately wanted children.
"They were all part of an agreement or understanding under which they understood Samantha Kelly would be killed.”
"When Peter Arthur killed Samantha Kelly he did so, so that Christine Lyons would take up parenting of Samantha Kelly's children," Dalziel added.
Both Christine Lyons and Ron Lyons have denied any involvement in the murder, saying Arthur acted alone.
"She denies that she was motivated by a desperation to have her own children…and would kill for it," Peter Kildruff, lawyer for Ms Lyons told the court.
"She denies they [Lyons and Arthur] were devoted to her… and they were motivated to achieve her wish," added her lawyer.
The trial continues.