Dead wife 'a burden he was no longer prepared to tolerate'
A man accused of drowning his wife was approached for answers by his grieving son but refused, saying he had "been told pretty strongly not to comment", a court has heard.
On Monday, the Supreme Court was played an SA Police audio recording of a conversation between Peter Rex Dansie and his son, Grant, following the alleged murder of his wife Helen, who was in a wheelchair.
Previously, the court has heard Grant returned from his work overseas at news of his mother's death, and agreed to "wear a wire" while speaking to Dansie.
In the 10-minute recording, Dansie - who was not subject to charges at the time - repeatedly refuses to answer his son's questions about the incident.
When asked if Helen suffered or died peacefully, Dansie complains about the way SA Police treated him after the drowning.
"I've been told not to comment at all... it was just an accident... I've been asked not to comment... yesterday's (news)paper is probably the best explanation," he says.
"The whole thing is a little bit shabby, I haven't got much help from the police... they kept me handcuffed for 18 hours, wet clothes, no medication, no food, no drinks.
"It's been pretty well publicised, everyone knows what happened... I've been told pretty strongly not to comment."
She was disabled due to a stroke - Dansie says her wheelchair accidentally went into the pond and she drowned despite his attempts to save her.
Prosecutors say he threw her into the water because she was "a burden he was no longer prepared to tolerate", then embarked on "a course of deception and subterfuge" to avoid arrest.
In the recording, Grant Dansie tells his father he is "shocked, just shocked" by Helen's death and that he feels "it's not really clear what happened".
"I've got lots of questions and no answers and you can't say anything... I just got off a plane, I'm in shock," he says.
"Did she pass quickly? It was pretty painless for her?"
Dansie replies: "Yes - well, it was probably about five minutes."
"I'm sorry I can't tell you more, but I can't," he continues.
"Apparently it's a pretty common way the police work... they try to be nice to get you on-side, then it sort of comes out what they want.
"If you read the last couple of days in the papers, you will see what they initially released... now what they're releasing is poles apart."
When Grant says he is "really just looking for understanding", Dansie repeats his claim Helen's wheelchair accidentally rolled into the pond as they watched the sunset.
"(Before) I got a stick and tested the depth of the water, it was only a foot," he says.
"When she fell into the pond I jumped in straight after her... the water was up to here, I just couldn't get her out ... there was nothing I could do."
The trial, before Justice David Lovell and in the absence of a jury, continues.