CRIME SCENE: Police at the couple’s home.
CRIME SCENE: Police at the couple’s home.

Husband 'killed' wife for insurance payout

UPDATE: Everybody thought they were just a normal married couple.

Together for 37 years and parents to two children, Jason and James, neighbours and friends of Vicki and Ian Hunter never foresaw the horror which ripped the "happy" couple apart.

Mrs Hunter drove to her Raceview home from Indooroopilly, where she worked at a retail store, on May 6, 2010, and met her demise.

Parking the car in the garage and proceeding towards the back steps of the Sonter St home, the 55-year-old was hit at least 15 times with a metal pole.

Yesterday Crown prosecutor Vicki Loury told the Supreme Court in Brisbane that the blows left Mrs Hunter with a fractured skull, face bones and arm.

Police found her bloodied body lying beside the metal pole in the garage the following morning.

Her husband Ian has pleaded not guilty to her murder.

Ms Loury told the court police went to the Sonter St address on the morning of May 7, 2010, after Mr Hunter made two anonymous triple-0 calls.

Police found Mr Hunter on the lounge room floor in his underwear with a letter opener protruding through the back of his right hand.

He was surrounded by blood and had a lump on his forehead.

Ms Loury said Mr Hunter had told police an intruder, dressed in dark clothing with his faced covered by a black stocking, had hit him.

The intruder, according to Mr Hunter, had a New Zealand-style tribal tattoo on his leg and kept calling Mr Hunter "bro", the court heard.

She said Mr Hunter had told police the intruder asked him where the money was, before Hunter directed him to a tin in his bedroom where $3000 in pokie winnings had been stashed.

The Crown alleged Mr Hunter killed his wife for her life insurance policy.

Ms Loury said Mr Hunter claimed to police not to have known how his wife died, but was able to recount some of the gruesome details to friends.

Defence barrister Dennis Lynch said his client did not kill his wife, but loved her dearly.

Mr Lynch denied there were inconsistencies in Hunter's version of events, but said if there were differences, it was "really a matter of semantics".

Mr Lynch said Mrs Hunter's life insurance policy would not have been enough to pay off their mortgage.

The court heard Mr Hunter recently left his job as a truck driver and, as a result, their joint income had reduced.

Former neighbours of the Hunters told the court the couple appeared normal and happy.

The trial is expected to run for three weeks.

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