Marie Van Beers, 63, who was killed at Tweed Heads in 2018. Picture: supplied
Marie Van Beers, 63, who was killed at Tweed Heads in 2018. Picture: supplied

‘Oh my f —king god’: police shocked to find killed woman

The TWEED Heads man accused of fatally stabbing his ex-partner was smoking a cigarette moments after the alleged attack, a court has heard.

Paul Thomas Ryan, 66, is before a judge only trial for the murder of 63-year-old Marie Van Beers, at the Lismore Supreme Court.

He has pleaded not guilty to the murder charge but pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

The Crown Prosecution has ultimately rejected his manslaughter plea.

Mr Ryan is accused of fatally stabbing Ms Van Beers in their Brett St unit, Tweed Heads, on November 12, 2018.

The pair, who had been together for 37-years, had separated about two years before Ms Van Beers' death but continued to live together, the court heard.

 

Police at the scene of an alleged murder at Tweed Heads. Picture: Brianna Morris-Grant
Police at the scene of an alleged murder at Tweed Heads. Picture: Brianna Morris-Grant

 

Mr Ryan's defence barrister, Jason Watts, said at the time of the killing couldn't "control himself" because of his long-sustained alcoholism.

In video footage played before the court, body worn cameras of two officers who attended the Tweed Heads unit the night Ms Van Beers dies showed the arrest of Mr Ryan.

After numerous calls were made to emergency services about screams coming from the unit, police attended the scene and had to forcibly kick the door down to enter.

One officer drew his weapon when he first sighted Mr Ryan inside the unit before using capsicum spray to contain him after the accused failed to comply with orders to get down on the ground, the video evidence appeared to show.

The court heard officers were unsure whether Mr Ryan was armed when they entered the building.

Another officer searched the unit for a potential victim, and when he discovered Ms Van Beers' body in the kitchen yelled out to his colleague "'oh my f -king god … yeah, she's dead mate", the court heard.

Police also allege they noticed a "durry", or cigarette, fell out of Mr Ryan's mouth when they first entered the unit.

He was then arrested taken to Tweeds Heads Police Station, where he was treated by NSW paramedics for any potential injuries.

While at the station, Mr Ryan asked officers "was she dead" and "why is there blood all over me", to which the officers told him he was charged with murder.

Mr Ryan and Ms Van Beers' eldest son, Christopher Ryan, was also seen on the video played before the court arriving at the house moments after police arrived.

When footage of Christopher Ryan visibly upset upon learning about the incident was played before court, his father could be seen in court crying as he listened to his son's screams.

Ms Van Beers had successfully taken out an apprehended violence order against Mr Ryan the day of her death.

The trial will continue Wednesday in the Lismore Supreme Court.

*For 24-hour domestic violence support call the national hotline 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or MensLine on 1800 600 636.



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