A New South Wales Supreme Court is currently hearing a case in which an accountant murdered an Oz Lotto winner, the accountant – Peter Kelly – has told a Sydney court his victim could not control her spending.
Lotto winner Maria Devrell, 55, moved from the central coast to Tamworth with her husband David after a $5 million Oz Lotto win in 1999. Before the win the couple led an average uneventful life, Maria worked for the Sarah Lee food company and David was a train guard.
Family friend and accountant Peter Kelly, who managed their finances, admitted murdering Mrs Devrell on March 28 2011. Kelly told a sentencing hearing he wrapped a mallet in plastic before hitting her on the head after they argued about money. The Supreme Court heard that after hitting his victim, Kelly held his hands over her nose and mouth until she went quiet. Kelly told the hearing his victim could not control her spending. But when questioned by the Judge, he admitted losing hundreds of thousands of dollars of her money in failed property investments on the New South Wales central coast and in Fiji.
The court heard there was limited provocation and a degree of pre-meditation in the murder. Maria Devrell’s daughter read a victim impact statement, describing the affect of the loss of her mother on the family. The day Mrs Devrell was murdered, Peter Kelly and David Devrell had been shooting and riding motor bikes together. Her body was found that night in a pool of blood. Kelly will be sentenced next month. UPADATE! Kelly has been sentenced to a lengthy Jail term ::::
UPDATE! Seprember 14, 2012: Peter Kelly, the accountant who murdered a lotto winner because she could not control her spending has been jailed for up to 18 years. Kelly, 56, had managed the personal and business finances of his friends Maria and David Devrell for over 20 years.
The New South Wales Supreme Court heard that after the couple won $5 million in Oz Lotto, the accountant argued with Ms Devrell about her excessive spending. The court heard that in her Tamworth home last year, Ms Devrell pushed the accountant when he refused to give her more money. Kelly said he then hit her over the head with a rubber mallet.
Kelly pleaded guilty to murder, Justice Robert Hulme rejected Kelly’s argument that he was provoked. Kelly will be eligible for parole in 2024.