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Wife’s killer Peter Rex Dansie dies in South Australian prison

A man who was found guilty of murdering his wife by pushing her wheelchair into a pond in Adelaide Park Lands has died in custody.

Peter Rex Dansie, 74, was serving a life sentence with a non-parole period of 25 years for murdering his wife Helen, 67, who was living with a disability, in April 2017.

Helen’s body was discovered in a 1.5m deep pond at Veale Gardens.

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During his sentencing in December 2020, the judge called Dansie’s actions “evil” and the “ultimate act of domestic violence.”

South Australia’s Department of Correctional Services confirmed Dansie died on Monday of natural causes.

It is understood Dansie was taken from prison to hospital.

Peter Rex Dansie leaves the Supreme Court in Adelaide in 2019.
Peter Rex Dansie leaves the Supreme Court in Adelaide in 2019. Credit: BAR/AAP IMAGE

Dansie’s son Grant said he was “relieved” his father died behind bars “where he belonged.”

He said his father never showed remorse and was “vindictive” as he fought to maintain control of his wife’s estate in court.

“Mum’s death was completely preventable and the authorities responsible for her protection were warned repeatedly over many years about the threat posed by Peter Dansie,” Grant said.

“However, they continued to ignore our warnings about domestic violence and eventually Mom ended up increasing the number of women tragically murdered by their spouses.

“Hopefully with her passing our family can finally have some peace as we continue to mourn my fantastic mother.”

During his trial, prosecutors alleged that Dansie killed his wife because he considered her a financial burden and wanted to have a sexual relationship with a woman he met online.

Dansie claimed that she had been in an accident and that he had jumped in to save her.

Helen was a microbiologist who suffered a stroke in the 1990s.

Dansie lost two attempts to appeal his conviction.

The department said all deaths in custody were subject to a forensic investigation.

– With AAP.

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