Killer 'had no choice but to silence' wife

After strangling his wife, a retired accountant said he had decided to silence her after wanting some peace when she abused and hit him.

"Her facial expression was like a tiger," Engracio Songcuan told police when asked if he would call her actions as life-threatening to him.

"I had no choice but to silence her. A little bit of peace and a little bit of freedom ... I cannot really stand it anymore."

His police interview was played to a NSW Supreme Court jury on Thursday.

The 75-year-old, known as Fred, has pleaded not guilty to murdering his 69-year-old wife Erlinda, known as Linda, in their Woodcroft home on May 2, 2020.

He has pleaded guilty to manslaughter, claiming he was acting in self-defence or was provoked when he killed her in the family garage.

Before his arrest at Richmond railway station hours later, Songcuan bought a knife which was found in his pocket.

He told police he had thought of killing himself at Rockwood cemetery at the grave of a son who is buried there.

The retiree said his wife's mind had been poisoned and she constantly suspected him of having an affair which he denied.

"She was always abusing me."

She would taunt, nag and bully him as well as pull knives on him and hit him with a slipper when they were driving.

He said he moved bedrooms as "I am afraid she might kill me because she is keeping knives in our room".

On the morning of May 2, he said she barged into his room and was hitting him with a large item and smashed the TV remote.

He said he ran downstairs and went to the garage so as not to waken their daughter.

His wife "followed me there still hitting me and shouting so I had no choice but to silence her".

Placing one hand over her mouth, he then wrapped his arm around her throat and squeezed for maybe 15 or 20 minutes.

At first she struggled but she then stopped breathing and he covered her body with clothes and cardboard boxes, and placed rope around her neck.

He said he did this to make it look like she had strangled herself.

"I think I overreacted but I decided better for me, instead of living a miserable life."

Earlier, the prosecutor presented the jury with four documents which set out facts that were not in dispute between the parties.

Songcuan's phone records showed that days before her death, he texted their daughter to say his wife had hit him with a slipper for the third time but he didn't fight back.

He said his wife was paranoid, and there was no other woman and he asked their daughter to calm her down.

The agreed facts also related to an analysis of one of the victim's phones, later found by her daughter under her mother's bed.

On the day before her death, the phone captured more than 24 images of bank statements and images of a birthday card, addressed to her husband, which she had found in the garage.

The woman who sent the card gave evidence of having nothing more than a friendship with Songcuan.

He told her he was unhappy in the marriage but couldn't leave because of their involvement in a church and because of what his family might think.

He also told her his wife nagged him but he was ready to put up with the situation.

The trial continues on Monday before Justice Stephen Campbell.

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