Australia

Woman charged over alleged murder of beloved retired Sydney lawyer

A woman has been charged with the murder of a popular retired Sydney lawyer who was found dead in his home during a welfare check. Peter McCarthy, 77, was discovered deceased with severe head and facial injuries in his apartment on Elphinstone Road, South Coogee last month.On Monday afternoon, police arrested a 46-year-old woman at…

A woman has been charged with the murder of a popular retired Sydney lawyer who was found dead in his home during a welfare check.

Peter McCarthy, 77, was discovered deceased with severe head and facial injuries in his apartment on Elphinstone Road, South Coogee last month.

On Monday afternoon, police arrested a 46-year-old woman at a unit a short distance away on the same road.

NSW Police say Mr McCarthy’s satchel bag, containing personal items including his phone, was stolen from the unit.

They are investigating whether robbery played a part in his killing.

Police carried out a forensic examination of his apartment and formed Strike Force Airy, which led to the woman’s arrest around 1pm.

Detective Superintendent Danny Doherty said the woman was known to Mr McCarthy.

“There is very significant forensic and physical evidence to make this a strong and compelling case,” Superintendent Doherty said.

The woman was taken to Maroubra police station and charged with murder and dishonestly obtain financial advantage by deception.

She was refused bail to appear at Waverley Local Court on Tuesday.

Mr McCarthy was last seen four days before his death in Sydney’s CBD at Club York, which he frequented at least three times a week.

Police described his killing as “horrendous” and launched a public appeal for information just before Christmas.

CCTV footage released by police showed Mr McCarthy at the venue days before his death with the satchel bag allegedly stolen from his unit.

As part of the appeal, police also released CCTV from a train station of a man and a woman who they said could help with the investigation.

Police confirmed the woman pictured was not the same woman who had been charged and they were yet to speak to the pair.

The man, of caucasian appearance with a medium build and light brown hair, was wearing black pants, black pants and a black Raiders singlet top.

The woman, of caucasian appearance with a slim build and light-coloured hair, was wearing a black top, black hoodie, black pants, black sneakers and a black face mask.

“Those inquiries are still ongoing in relation to that CCTV footage … We’re making further inquiries into people who may have assisted or maybe have some information,” Superintendent Doherty said.

Superintendent Doherty said Mr McCarthy’s family were experiencing mixed emotions following the woman’s arrest.

Mr McCarthy’s son James released a statement last month.

“Our family is devastated and still coming to terms with the loss of our father and grandfather, Peter,” he said.

“We have all been deeply affected by this tragedy, especially at what should be a time of celebration and joy this Christmas.

“We are grateful for the ongoing support from our family and friends and urge anyone in the community with information about the circumstances surrounding Dad’s death to please come forward and speak with police.”

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