Husband backs evidence on killing

Terrence Emselle yesterday.
Terrence Emselle yesterday.

THE husband of Ian David Thomas’ lover has sworn he knew nothing of the alleged confession until the day before his wife told police.

Jacinta Emselle’s husband, Terrence Leonard Emselle, told the committal hearing at Wangaratta Magistrates Court yesterday that he had had no concerns that his wife would be charged as an accessory to murder — but had sought independent legal advice “for reassurance it was OK to talk to police”.

Mr Emselle, 46, said his wife told him months after Thomas’s arrest at the couple’s Meredith property that he had admitted to the killings.

“She said that he had killed his mother first, strangled her ... then moved her body into the house and he waited for his father to come home and then shot him,” he said.

The couple spoke to police the next day, after first speaking with a solicitor.

His description of the confession was, according to defence barrister John Desmond, partly “word perfect” to Mrs Emselle’s police statement, which he accused Mr Emselle of reading before court.

Mr Emselle swore he had not.

He said his wife had never described her and Thomas’s relationship as sexual and that he believed they’d not been in touch since January 2013.

Mrs Emselle has been granted indemnity for giving evidence at the hearing.

Asked by Mr Desmond why she had not come forward immediately, Mrs Emselle said she was scared for herself and her family if Thomas got out of jail.

“I went from mistakenly not trusting police to trusting police,” she said.

“I just felt I wasn’t able to carry this burden forever.”

Accused again of lying, Mrs Emselle denied it: “I’d have to be Steven Spielberg to make up a story like this.”