A Gold Coast man brutally attacked the woman he called the “love of his life”, bashing her with a hammer and strangling her to death.
Almost four years to the day after Gaylene Cobby – known as Kym – died outside her Gold Coast hinterland home, a jury has found Andrew John Cobby guilty of her murder.
The 51-year-old woman was repeatedly struck on the head with the hammer then strangled while taking out rubbish at her Worongary home on November 12, 2017.
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Cobby now 59, admitted being present during the attack on the woman he had married more than three decades earlier – although they mostly lived apart from 2003 – but denied being responsible.
Instead Cobby told police an unknown assailant was behind the killing, ambushing his wife as he was about to get into a red Chrysler he had borrowed, the Brisbane Supreme Court trial heard.
But a jury rejected his version, handing down a guilty verdict on Monday after deliberating for less than a day.
Cobby claimed – in interviews played during the 17-day trial – that he was at the house to protect his family.
“I have four individuals trying to extort money, but I couldn’t pay them,” Cobby told officers.
The trial heard he had accepted money to trade on the stock market in return for “risk-free bonuses”.
Investors didn’t receive paperwork for handing over up to $170,000, one told the court.
Cobby ran and hid after the attack until he was found by police about three hours after Ms Cobby’s bloodied body was found by her brother-in-law as he was returning home.
When told his wife had died hours earlier Cobby screamed: “No. You are wrong. No, no please tell me it’s not true. It can’t be true.”
The hysterical father-of-three refused to accept his wife was dead during the rambling three-hour police interview conducted at his hospital bed.
Cobby was covered in blood as he begged police and medical staff to “go help Kym” in footage played for the jury during the trial.
He told officers he should have stayed to protect her, rather than running.
“Kym had taken the brunt, and I remember thinking I am next,” he told officers.
“He was on top of Kym, and I’ve laid over Kym trying to protect her. I got hit in the back of the head, I think.
“I couldn’t save her.
“He was following me. I ran. I’m a coward.
But Cobby’s version of events was “just rubbish”, prosecutor Philip McCarthy said.
“And the only person she (Ms Cobby) needed protection from was Andrew Cobby,” he told the jury in his closing address.
The Crown argued Cobby ran and hid after the attack to prevent immediate detection, taking time to “get a story together” before responding to calls from his son after Ms Cobby’s body was found.
Mr McCarthy said Cobby’s versions to police changed and his story “however remarkably performed by him is simply untrue”.
He also argued there is no support for Cobby’s claim he lost consciousness during the hours before he phoned his son or that he was hit on the head by the attacker while trying to protect Ms Cobby.
Justice Peter Callaghan is expected to sentence Cobby later on Monday.
© AAP 2021