THE daughter of murder victim Maria “Lou” Devrell gave an emotional statement in the Supreme Court yesterday at the sentencing proceedings of the man who killed her mother.
Peter Joseph Kelly appeared in the court for the commencement of his sentencing and outlined how he murdered the Tamworth mother and Oz Lotto winner.
Kelly could face life in prison for the crime.
He was charged with Mrs Devrell’s murder on April 10, 2011, just weeks after his victim’s body was found in a pool of blood by her teenage daughter at their Kingswood home.
In a Tamworth court last year, Kelly pleaded guilty to her murder, which the prosecution alleged occurred after an argument between the two at the Devrells’ Cameron Ave home in the Kingswood estate.
Kelly yesterday told of the gruesome details of how he killed Mrs Devrell; wrapping her up in plastic before hitting her on the head after an argument about the money he had been managing for her.
The court heard that after he hit Mrs Devrell, he held his hands over her nose and mouth until she was quiet.
Kelly said Mrs Devrell could not control her spending but later admitted to Justice Hulme that he had lost hundreds of thousands of her dollars in failed property investments.
Kelly, 54, first appeared in court for the crime on April 11, 2011 – the same day his victim’s family gathered for her funeral in Tamworth.
He had been arrested only the day before by Tamworth detectives and the State Crime Command at his Umina Beach home, on the Central Coast.
Police were tight-lipped about the case at first, but as the court trials proceeded and the investigations continued, more details began to emerge.
Kelly was a long-time friend of the family and managed the Devrells’ money after their $5 million lotto win in 1999.
On the day of Mrs Devrell’s murder, Kelly had been shooting and riding motorbikes with her husband David.
Police had waited until post mortem results were released before declaring Mrs Devrell’s death as suspicious.
Yesterday, the daughter who discovered her mother’s body delivered an emotional victim impact statement that described the effect the murder had had on the family.
Kelly will be sentenced on September 14 after the court heard there was “limited provocation” and a “degree of pre-meditation” in the murder.