Husband’s regret after pregnant wife killed by ex

A WA man has told a jury harrowing details about how he was at his council job when he became worried that his pregnant partner wasn't answering her phone and then discovered her ex-husband had killed her.

Brian "Charlie" Haggerty, a works supervisor at Laverton Shire in WA's outback goldfields, became emotional when describing how he had rung his wife Sharna Annear's female friend asking if she could check on her because he was busy at work.

"You think I don't ask that, I don't know why," an emotional Mr Haggerty said when prosecutor Bernard Standish asked why he had not checked on her himself.

Ms Annear's estranged husband had been harassing her the weekend of her death and was seen lurking on a vacant block across the road from her and Mr Haggerty's Laverton home.

Mervyn Annear, now aged 65, is on trial in the WA Supreme Court accused of murdering 30-year-old Ms Annear in November 2016 when he visited her in a last-ditch attempt at reconciliation.

The pair had separated more than a year earlier when Annear had been sacked from his job as a truck driver at Laverton Shire.

Ms Annear, who was from the Philippines, chose not to join him when he moved more than 1000km south to Gnowangerup.

She stayed in Laverton, where she was described as a popular person who worked in patient care at a hospital, and eventually formed a relationship with Mr Haggerty and fell pregnant to him.

However, Annear refused to accept the rejection, bombarding her with text messages.

He travelled to Laverton and turned up at her home before 6am on November 19, 2016 after Mr Haggerty had gone to work.

He spent time there and left, leaving Ms Annear distraught, said Mr Haggerty.

He returned the next morning, again after Mr Haggerty had gone to work. This time he assaulted her and she was later found dead in a pool of blood on the concrete outside her home, in a T-shirt and underwear, with blunt force trauma to the head, lacerations and bruising.

Annear then stole his ex-wife's car and other possessions, drove it to a deserted area and set it alight in what his own defence lawyer Curt Hofmann described as a "lame attempt" by a man who was in shock to cover up the crime.

He was arrested about 300km away and found with Ms Annear's dried blood on his chest and a cut on his cheek.

He has pleaded guilty to setting the car alight but denies intending to kill Ms Annear.

Mr Hofmann said he would argue that she was accidentally killed by asphyxiation when the far heavier Annear was on top of her.

News Corp Australia

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