Bodies laid on doonas, court hears

The home of Bill and Pauline Thomas shortly after the murders were discovered.
The home of Bill and Pauline Thomas shortly after the murders were discovered.

THEY were laid out on doonas side-by-side on the loungeroom floor, the white and cream-coloured fabrics now stained brown from dried blood.

Around them, blood marked the floors, walls, and ceilings.

This was the scene that faced Victoria Police forensic officer Erin Pirie when she attended the Great Alpine Road property of Bill and Pauline Thomas.

Mr and Mrs Thomas, 64 and 63 respectively, were killed on April 22, allegedly at the hands of their son Ian David Thomas, 36.

The court had been told he strangled his mother before shooting his father and then struck him repeatedly with a blunt object.

The gruesome details of the crime scene were revealed yesterday in Ms Pirie’s statement, tendered to the committal hearing at Wangaratta Magistrates Court.

She said blood stains on the doonas indicated both victims had been bleeding from the head, though there was more blood on Mr Thomas’.

“The doona was present during the bloodshed event, prior to being used to wrap (Mr) Thomas,” her statement read.

Ms Pirie described with a forensic eye the hundreds of bloodstains in the room, some of which indicated Mr Thomas had been hit at least three times with an “elongated object”.

At least one more blow came as Mr Thomas crouched on the floor, while an area near the eastern wall of the room was within the trajectory of at least four large stains.

But Ms Pirie told the court she could not determine the degree of force used to inflict the blows, nor if certain spatter patterns were the result of separate impacts.

Ms Pirie also conducted DNA analysis of blood and items collected, including a “wooden pole ... or tool handle” that indicated Mr Thomas’ blood was on it.

Under cross examination Ms Pirie said a pair of gloves were found to have DNA from the couple and their son on them; fingernail scrapings from Mrs Thomas revealed her husband’s DNA.

Two fired gunshot cases were also shown to have Mr Thomas’ DNA.