Messages revealed in SA drowning case

Peter Dansie is accused of murdering his wife, who drowned after her wheelchair toppled into a pond.
Peter Dansie is accused of murdering his wife, who drowned after her wheelchair toppled into a pond.

An Adelaide man accused of drowning his wife in a pond sent explicit messages to other women and planned an overseas trip for the month after her death.

Peter Rex Dansie is accused of searching the internet using terms including "six inch stilettos for sale" and "thigh high boots" in the weeks leading up to the alleged murder.

Opening the case for the prosecution in May, Jim Pearce QC said Dansie had also sent messages he described as "steamy" to two women in China, telling one of them he would like to see more photos of her in "bra and panties".

The Supreme Court heard Dansie had booked a plane ticket to China, and police found condoms, sex toys and lingerie in a packed suitcase at his home before he was due to leave.

The claims had been suppressed until an order was lifted by Justice David Lovell on Wednesday during Dansie's re-trial.

His 66-year-old wife Helen drowned after her wheelchair toppled into the pond in the Adelaide parklands in 2017.

The court has previously heard Mrs Dansie suffered a stroke in the late 1990s and was left with long-term disabilities and receiving a pension.

While the prosecution say Dansie's comments demonstrate he wanted his wife "out of the way", defence witness Anne Wilk told the court on Wednesday the pair "presented like a married couple would and should".

"He always made sure she was included," she said.

"Her hair was done, she was always clean ... she was never unkempt."

Last week, the court heard Dansie told police he briefly climbed into the pond after his wife fell in but then got out to call triple zero.

He told an operator he tried to keep his wife's head above water and manoeuvre her to the edge of the pond but he was not able to rescue her.

Dansie on Wednesday joined Justice Lovell on a view of the scene where Mrs Dansie died.

The trial continues before Justice Lovell in the absence of a jury.

Australian Associated Press