Walcha murder: Natasha Beth Darcy appears in Tamworth Local Court charged with murder of Mathew Dunbar; prosecutors say brief of evidence is 7,000 pages long

No bail: Natasha Beth Darcy-Crossman, 42, inset, is charged with murdering Mathew Dunbar on August 2, at Walcha. Police are pictured searching the property in November following her arrest. Photos: Gareth Gardner, supplied
No bail: Natasha Beth Darcy-Crossman, 42, inset, is charged with murdering Mathew Dunbar on August 2, at Walcha. Police are pictured searching the property in November following her arrest. Photos: Gareth Gardner, supplied

A COURT has been told the case against the woman charged with murdering a popular Walcha farmer spans 7,000 pages.

Natasha Beth Darcy, formerly known as Darcy-Crossman, appeared via video link in Tamworth Local Court from Silverwater Women’s Correctional Centre on Wednesday morning.

Mr Dunbar died at his Walcha property on August 2 and Darcy was arrested three months later by detectives from Strike Force Ballin – the police operation set-up to probe the 42-year-old’s death which was labelled ‘suspicious’.

Solicitor for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Cameron Reynolds, told the court investigators had served a “voluminous brief”.

“It’s in the order of 7,000 pages,” he said, asking for further time to obtain more specialist material. “A pathologists report ... some expert reports in relation to toxicology.”

It’s in the order of 7,000 pages.

DPP solicitor Cameron Reynolds

Magistrate Julie Soars formally refused bail and granted the application for an adjournment ordering the case back to court in March.

“I propose to make an order that [the brief’s] to be served by the 14th of March,” she said, before asking Darcy if she understood the case had to be adjourned to collect more evidence.

“Yep sure … thanks Your Honour,” Darcy replied.

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Darcy has been in custody since she was refused bail in an out-of-sessions bail hearing on November 19 – a day after she was charged with the murder of Mr Dunbar.

As part of their case detailed in police facts, police allege in the nine days prior to Mr Dunbar’s death, Darcy allegedly searched ‘murder by injection, ‘the science of getting away with murder’, ‘99 undetectable poisons’, ‘arsenic’ as well as various methods of suicide.

Police also alleged that many of these searches related to certain methods of causing death that are undetectable or hard to locate during a post-mortem, and were allegedly deleted from her phone, but were recovered by police.

Police allege Darcy placed a quantity of drugs and animal sedatives into his food and drink on August 1, sedating him, before allegedly placing a plastic bag over his head and secured it with elastic before turning the tank of helium on, attached to the bag via a hose.

Mr Dunbar had at least five prescribed drugs in his system, according to toxicology reports, police claim, and that Darcy’s DNA, as well as that of Mr Dunbar’s was allegedly found on the bag around his neck.