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Jury told of fleeting funeral remorse

A Sydney woman standing beside her mother’s coffin made a “fleeting, unguarded expression of remorse” for the role she played in her 2001 murder, a jury has been told.

One funeral attendee heard Isabela Carolina Camelo-Gomez say “oh mum, I am sorry it was never meant to go that far”, while another heard “mum, I didn’t mean for it to go that far”.

In the crown closing address on Thursday, prosecutor David Scully said the two witnesses had not spoken with each other but both heard very similar words which the Crown submitted was “very telling”.

“The Crown says they are a fleeting unguarded expression of remorse about what she had done,” he said.

Camelo-Gomez, 47, has pleaded not guilty in the NSW Supreme Court to murdering Irene Jones on November 2, 2001 at her Lansvale home.

The 56-year-old was strangled with a ligature and stabbed in the neck.

The Crown alleges the then 27-year-old murdered her in her kitchen after a birthday dinner but blamed an intruder who she said also tried to choke her before she fled to neighbours.

Mr Scully alleges the woman previously known as Megan Jones killed her mother because of her infatuation and obsession with Carlos Camelo-Gomez and her belief her mother was an obstacle to the relationship.

She also allegedly wanted to please him by continuing to financially support him after she inherited her mother’s house.

But defence lawyer Belinda Rigg SC has submitted that Carlos Camelo-Gomez may have been responsible for the death, arguing “the accused was not acting with him”.

Her client disputed claims she wasn’t attacked by an assailant before her mother was found dead, also denying being infatuated with Carlos Camelo-Gomez saying they first had sex months after the death.

Mr Scully on Thursday reminded the jury the crown case is the daughter actually killed her mother or, in the alternative, was part of a joint criminal enterprise with Carlos Camelo-Gomez to murder her.

He rejected the possibility that Carlos Camelo-Gomez carried out the murder “on a frolic of his own and not as part of a joint criminal enterprise” with the accused.

On her own version to police, she said the knife-wielding intruder who tried to choke her was wearing a stocking over his head, had blonde hair and fair skin.

But Mr Scully reminded the jury this did not fit the description of Carlos Camelo-Gomez, who was Colombian.

It would be “utterly inconceivable” he would take the risk of going to the house, when there was no plan and on a frolic of his own, to murder the mother when the daughter was also home.

He also submitted Camelo-Gomez had no credibility in relation to her description of her relationship with him.

She had “slipped up” in a police report in January 2003 when she accused him of assaulting her, saying they had known each other for about four years and had been in an on-off relationship for the last few years.

The defence is expected to begin her final submissions later on Thursday.

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