Woman housed in secure hospital for murder

Melissa Iaria

An elderly Melbourne woman who murdered her ex-husband, amid delusions she was in deep trouble and he would end up in a nursing home, will serve time in a secure mental health hospital.

The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was sentenced in the Victorian Supreme Court on Wednesday to serve a nominal 25-year-term term in the Thomas Embling Hospital.

Justice Christopher Beale said he was satisfied the woman was not guilty of the crime due to mental impairment.

The woman was separated from her husband but cared full time for him after a stroke.

She developed a psychotic depression, making her believe she was under surveillance, in deep financial trouble and about to be arrested, the court was told.

The woman believed that as a result, her husband would be sent into a care home where his quality of life would be "utterly intolerable".

As a result, she attacked him with a kitchen knife in October 2016 while he slept. She then waited to make sure he didn't wake.

He died from a single stab wound to the throat.

The woman phoned police to tell them what she did, adding she had no choice because she was going to be arrested for tax evasion.

Justice Beale said that the accused believed the killing was the "right" thing to do to prevent her going to jail and her husband ending up in a care home.