Australia Townsville man who bludgeoned woman in drunken robbery found guilty of murder

14:05  03 december  2019
14:05  03 december  2019 Source:   abc.net.au

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a car parked in a parking lot: The Townsville street where Rosemary Russo was found dead inside her home. (ABC News: David Chen)© Provided by ABC NEWS The Townsville street where Rosemary Russo was found dead inside her home. (ABC News: David Chen)

A man who bludgeoned a Townsville grandmother with a piece of wood and left her to drown in her own blood has been found guilty of murder.

James Mabo was on trial in the Townsville Supreme Court for killing Rosemary Russo, 59, at Deeragun in December 2016.

The then-19-year-old was drunk when he broke into Ms Russo's home in the middle of the night, attacking her and stealing a jar of money before fleeing from the scene.

Neighbours found the childcare worker in a pool of blood. She had severe facial injuries.

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In his summary of the evidence heard, Justice David North repeated the testimony of David Williams, who performed a post-mortem examination.

Justice North said: "The cause of death was the inhalation of blood from the broken nose that caused the deceased to drown in her own blood.

"He [Professor Williams] described the force necessary to cause these injuries as severe force, similar to injuries he'd seen sustained by the victims of motor vehicle accidents.

"He said the injuries were caused by blunt force trauma."

During the trial, the jury was shown graphic photographs of Ms Russo's injuries.

Mabo stared at the floor and showed little reaction when the verdict was read out, but one of his relatives broke down in tears.

The court heard he had been at a party and was drinking heavily in the hours before Ms Russo's death.

His lawyer had told the court Mabo had been too intoxicated to have the intent to kill.

The jury heard Mabo handed himself into police the afternoon after the incident, but he lied to officers to distance himself from the attack.

The Broncos singlet he had been wearing was found discarded and covered in blood stains.

Mabo had previously pleaded guilty to manslaughter but not guilty to murder.

He will be sentenced on Wednesday.

Woman found dead in Townsville house .
An autopsy will be conducted on the 36-year-old victim to confirm the cause of death and whether the case is suspicious.Police were called to the home on McIlwraith Street in South Townsville about 4.15am after the woman was found inside one of the rooms within the house.

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