A woman accused of bludgeoning her mother to death in their Brisbane home with a plank of fake wood has been found guilty of murder.
Key points – Zafirovska convicted
Simona Zafirovska, 22, denied she killed her mother Radica Zafirovska at their home in The Gap in 2016 and told police intruders had broken into the property.
A Supreme Court jury reached its unanimous verdict after a day of deliberations.
Simona Zafirovska shook her head after she was asked if she had anything to say to the court.
Minutes later Zafirovska was sentenced to life in prison for murdering her mother.
She will be eligible to apply for parole after serving a mandatory 20 years behind bars.
Prosecutors alleged she used a piece of artificial wood to kill her mother as she slept in bed and that same plank was later found hidden in the daughter’s bedroom.
The trial heard the university student made a triple-0 call about 7am that morning, claiming intruders had broken in and attacked her mother.
But the prosecution contended that scenario was far-fetched because there were no signs of a break-in and intruders would have had to scale high fences without drawing the attention of neighbours or disturbing dogs.
While the lounge-room and kitchen were ransacked, the prosecution argued it was contrived — as a gold chain and cash were left behind on a table.
It was the prosecution’s case Zafirovska staged the scene to shift the blame, Justice Ann Lyons told the jury in her summing up.
“[Prosecutor David] Meredith says Radica was killed in her bed in a locked house … and the triple-0 call was a false complaint” she said.
The jury heard the prosecution alleged Zafirovska stood to benefit financially if her mother, 54, died.
But Justice Lyons said the defence counsel argued there was no evidence to support the suggestion she ransacked the house.
They also claimed hair found in Radica’s hand was of potential significance but was not sent for DNA testing, Justice Lyons said.
She said the defence also told the jury Zafirovska’s clothing was checked and there was no blood found on her, including under her fingernails.
While the prosecution suggested she could have done away with the evidence by removing her clothes and washing herself, her defence counsel said sinks, drains and bins were inspected and nothing was found with blood on it, the court heard.
Justice Lyons said defence barrister Anthony Glynn QC argued the prosecution hadn’t proven a reliable motive.
“Mr Glynn argues [it] may have been a vengeance killing over something that occurred in Macedonia,” she said.
The court had previously heard that in the month Radica was killed, Simona Zafirovska enquired with travel agencies about booking a flight and told staff she was moving there.