A widowed nurse was brutally stabbed in her suburban Melbourne home more than three decades ago, with a former colleague accused of being behind the shocking alleged attack.
Former hospital nurse Colin Earl Graham is charged with murder in the death of 25-year-old Ina-Doris Warrick, who was found stabbed to death at her home in Ringwood in March 1986.
His trial began in the Supreme Court of Victoria on Monday after cold-blooded detectives charged Mr Graham in 2019.
The former caregiver took her out for pizza at an Italian restaurant after she “unexpectedly” came to her house on the evening of March 21, prosecutor Robyn Harper told the jury.
The couple went out to dinner and shared a bottle of wine, before Mr Graham drove her home, where he allegedly followed her inside and stabbed her twice in the back with a sharp instrument, a said the prosecutor.
“She was stabbed within a short time … minutes after arriving home from dinner with the defendant,” Ms Harper told jurors.
The young nurse was due to start her first night shift at a private hospital after taking leave following the death of her husband from cancer. Ms Warrick had known the nurse from when she worked at Box Hill Hospital.
When she didn’t show up for the shift, the nursing agency that arranged the job tried to contact her several times the next day, but couldn’t reach the young widow, said the tribunal.
A neighbor who found his body reported it to the police. She was wearing the same clothes she had worn, hadn’t put on her nursing uniform and was still wearing heels, Ms Harper said.
The court was also told that the victim was having an affair with a married doctor named Greg Stewart, who discovered her body days before the neighbor, but did not go to the police.
He only told them he found her body two days after he first spoke to them, according to the prosecutor.
But jurors were told that three separate people claimed Mr Graham spoke about his alleged involvement in the crime, Ms Harper said.
Defense barrister Malcolm Thomas told jurors Mr Graham did not follow the nurse home, but dropped her off, knowing she would go to work and then drive home.
“I suspect it’s pretty obvious to you now; the central question is who killed Ms Ina-Doris Warrick,’ he told jurors.
He told jurors they would have to consider Dr Stewart’s behavior after the nurse’s death and his “lies”.
The three separate witnesses only came forward after a show offering a reward aired and his client disputed that the conversations ever took place, Mr Thomas said.
The trial continues.