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SA: Mum murdered by husband and sons over money: court told

By Steve Larkin
04 Mar 2009 4:38 PM

ADELAIDE, March 4 AAP - A mother was murdered by her two sons and estranged husband because she was attempting to take millions of dollars from the "family pot", an Adelaide court has been told.

Glenys Heyward was murdered by her three family members and another man for a "sin" of trying to seek financial independence after separating from her husband, prosecutor Mark Norman told the Adelaide Magistrates Court on Wednesday.

The husband, Neil Heyward, 53, and sons Thomas Heyward, 26, and Matthew Heyward, 21, are charged with murdering the woman. The Heyward's former farmhand, Jeremy Minter, 27, has also been charged with the murder.

Lawyers for Thomas and Matthew Heyward today asked Magistrate Elizabeth Bolton to throw out the murder charges, citing lack of evidence.

But Mr Norman told the court the sons stood to lose millions of dollars from a sale of the family dairy farm at Mt Schank, near Mt Gambier in South Australia's southeast.

Ms Heyward had launched court action to claim $2 million from the sale of a property valued at $6.8m, he said.

"Matthew Heyward and Thomas Heyward might reasonably consider themselves to be heirs to the estate," Mr Norman said.

"That money was being taken away from the family pot by Glenys Heyward."

Police allege Ms Heyward was murdered in July 2007. Her body was found in December that year at a remote western Victorian property.

The court heard extracts from Heyward's diary, saying her husband had "turned my heart and soul to stone ... you've poisoned the heart and mind of Thomas, I only hope Matthew escapes ... you have no right to have me surrender to you and make me a prisoner".

Ms Heyward wrote in a separate diary entry: "Do you know what it's like to have your own flesh and blood to tell you that they are going to kill you?".

Mr Norman also detailed a handwritten note found in Thomas' bedroom days after his mother's disappearance.

"Do you forget us being your sons ... your abuse and negligence will be the fall of your existence as my mother. And is," the note said, according to Mr Norman.

Magistrate Bolton will rule on the lawyers' no case to answer applications on March 31.