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August 5, 2011

Pensioner was Harassed Before She was Murdered (SA. AUSTRALIA)


By Sean Fewster


The Advertiser
August 04, 2011

PENSIONER Vonne McGlynn was harassed and frightened by a woman demanding to be her "carer" shortly before she was murdered, a court has heard.
Ms McGlynn's brother, Tony Smallgood, and close friend Therese Molloy, today gave evidence in the trial of her alleged killer.
Angelika Gavare, 34, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Ms McGlynn, 83, in her Somerfield Ave, Reynella, home on or about December 3, 2008.
Prosecutors have alleged Gavare was motivated by greed, wanting to steal Ms McGlynn's possessions and profit from the sale of her house.
Gavare allegedly dismembered Ms McGlynn's body and dumped the pieces in a creek near her Christie Downs home.
Giving evidence today, Mr Smallgood said he lived in Queensland and had regular contact with his sister by telephone.
He said that, in November 2008, Ms McGlynn broke her wrist and later had a "strange" visitor.
"She told me that a woman was banging on the front screen door but she (Ms McGlynn) did not answer," he said.
"The woman went around the back door and banged... then returned to the front door and banged on it."
Mr Smallgood said Ms McGlynn opened her wooden front door to the woman, but not her security screen.
"She told me the woman said `I'm here to be your carer'," he said.
"Vonne said `I don't need one, thank you very much' and the woman said `yes you do, and I can do the job'.
"My sister said `no' and closed the door... she told me `I think the woman is from down the street'."
The court also heard evidence from Ms Molloy, who said Ms McGlynn was the "defacto grandmother" to her three children.
"Vonne was a very integral part of our home," Ms Molloy said.
She said that, during their last conversation in November 2008, Ms McGlynn told her about the woman's visit.
"Vonne told me she'd had a scare, that the person had quite frightened her," she said.
"The person had said to her `you need a carer, I want to be your carer, you can pay me and I can move in'.
"I pricked up my senses because Vonne seemed to be upset and it had frightened her... I said she really needed to tell the police."
Ms Molloy said Ms McGlynn also told her the woman "lived in the street".
Prosecutors have previously alleged Gavare lived on Somerfield Ave before moving to Christie Downs.
Opening the trial yesterday, Director of Public Prosecutions Stephen Pallaras, QC, said the evidence against Gavare was expansive but her motive was simple.
"The court will ultimately be able to conclude the accused committed murder out of greed," he said.
"She intended to, and did, steal Ms McGlynn's possessions from her, and her further intention was to sell Ms McGlynn's house and benefit from the fruits of her crime.
"She stole because she had free access, because she wanted (things) and because she knew they would never be missed by a woman who was dead."
Mr Pallaras said that on or about December 3, Gavare gained access to Ms McGlynn's house - likely through its roof - and knocked her unconscious, possibly with an ornamental statue.
"We will not be leading evidence as to the precise cause of death," he said.
"We cannot because, at the time she was found, Ms McGlynn had been cut up and dismembered, and pieces of her body had been scattered throughout the Christies Creek area by the accused."
He said three witnesses would testify they had seen a person using a child's pusher to transport "odd-shaped garbage bags" to the creek.
Gavare, a Latvian-born mother of two, allegedly used garbage bags to dispose of some possessions while keeping others she liked.
They included a brand-new toaster, a nest of small tables, Ms McGlynn's healthcare card, passports and an ATM card.
Mr Pallaras said Gavare used the internet to research ways of selling Ms McGlynn's house without employing a land agent.
While impersonating the pensioner, she organised a hard-rubbish pick-up and a donation to the Salvation Army.
Mr Pallaras said Ms McGlynn was reported missing on December 4, when she failed to answer her daily Red Cross welfare call.
On December 9, he said, Gavare attempted to withdraw $2000 from Ms McGlynn's account.
"She presented (staff) with a bank card property of Ms McGlynn and a Power of Attorney which was, on the face of it, signed by a Justice of the Peace," he said.
"Bank officers, aware from media reports that Ms McGlynn was missing, contacted police."
Gavare told police Ms McGlynn was "travelling" and had asked her to have the house renovated.

"Ms McGlynn was a very private, almost reclusive and very independent woman who was very careful with her money," Mr Pallaras said.
"She was not the sort of person who would entrust her bank card and house keys to anyone."

Police searches of the Christies Creek area found the abandoned pusher, pieces of a statue and body parts.
Mr Pallaras said neither Ms McGlynn's hands nor head were ever recovered - but there was no doubt the body was hers.
"In her later years, Ms McGlynn had her right hip replaced, and the titanium ball and socket used had an individual serial number," he said.


The trial, before Justice Trish Kelly in the absence of a jury, is continuing.





SOURCE:     HeraldSun, Australia

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