Peggy Wyborn outside the Toowoomba Courthouse where she has been found guilty of manslaughter.
Peggy Wyborn outside the Toowoomba Courthouse where she has been found guilty of manslaughter. Nev Madsen

Wyborn guilty of manslaughter

BREAKING: For the first time in her 11-day murder trial, Peggy Wyborn showed some emotion as she was led from Toowoomba Supreme Court.

Just as she had done throughout her trial, Wyborn, 31, remained stony faced in the dock as the jury returned a not guilty verdict on murder, but guilty to manslaughter.

When asked if she had anything to say why sentence should not be pronounced on her, Wyborn simply shook her head in the negative.

"I think that's a 'no', Your Honour," he barrister Geoff Seaholme told Justice Anthe Philippides.

Only then, as she was taken into custody, did Wyborn appear to wipe tears from her eyes.

After 11 days of what Mr Seaholme described as a "very complicated case", the jury was satisfied the mother of two had contributed to the death of 70-year-old Neil McCarthy.

Mr McCarthy was found unconscious and with serious burns to his face on the footpath outside Wyborn's then home of 7 Robsart St, North Toowoomba, on the night of March 12, 2009.

Wyborn knew Mr McCarthy who regularly mowed her lawn and as the court heard, occasionally drank alcohol with her.

On the night of the incident, police found Mr McCarthy's blood at the entrance of Wyborn's home, on the path leading to her gate and on her foot.

Despite Wyborn initially telling police Mr McCarthy had not been at her home that night, she later admitted he was.

She also initially denied making a "000" call alerting the Queensland Ambulance Service to Mr McCarthy laying on the footpath but later admitted making the call when told it had been traced to her phone.

Wyborn has remained silent on forensic evidence that the burns to Mr McCarthy's face were most likely caused by boiling water.

Crown prosecutor Dennis Kinsella said the prosecution case was that Wyborn, for some undisclosed reason, had thrown hot water into Mr McCarthy's face which led to a series of events that led to his death.

Mr Kinsella submitted that in being treated for his burns, Mr McCarthy had been immobilised and bedridden which had led to DVT forming in his legs and blood clots dislodging from his legs and moving into his heart and lungs, causing death.

The defence contended that the medical evidence pointed to Mr McCarthy suffering a stroke in hospital which had caused his immobility which eventually led to his death.

After receiving the jury's verdict, Mr Seaholme asked for an adjournment so a number of reports on his client could be obtained to presented at her sentence hearing.

Justice Philippides therefore adjourned sentence to a date to be fixed and remanded Wyborn in custody.