An 85-year-old Perth man will be attending his wife’s funeral after he was accused of murdering his gravely-ill wife to "put her out of her misery". The man was granted bail on Wednesday.
The elderly man, who has been identified as Harold Barclay, 85, was charged with the murder of his wife Nancy after police were called to their home on Brompton Place in Alexander Heights.
The man appeared by video link in the Supreme Court from Casuarina Prison on Wednesday as the court heard details of the January 23 incident. However, the court was told that Nancy suffered from Alzheimer's disease and Mr. Barclay was her full-time carer.
Unfortunately, Mr. Barclay himself suffers from cancer, and is undergoing treatment for a metastatic melanoma. Reports indicate that on the night of the alleged murder, Mr. Barclay had gone to bed for the evening and left his wife of 63 years sitting at the dining table.
Her wife had forgotten to take her sleeping pills, and Mr. Barclay later woke in the early hours of the morning only to find her still sitting at the dining table.
Mr. Barclay went to help her to bed, but she fell to the ground. The court heard Mr. Barclay then strangled his wife of 63 years. Later on, Mr. Barclay assisted police with their investigations into his wife's death, and he allegedly told them he "wanted to put her out of her misery".
Fortunately, Justice Lindy Jenkins was considerate and she agreed to grant Mr. Barclay bail, and said she took into account the fact he had a "very limited life expectancy" due to his cancer. Outside court, Mr. Barclay's lawyer Mark Andrews told reporters the case was unique. "This is a most unusual circumstance, very extenuating," he said outside court. "He's desperately keen to attend his wife's funeral, so those arrangements can now be progressed." His bail is currently set at $50,000, and he is set to be aligned in court around March.