A Perth woman posted on social media she “hated” her grandmother and wanted to “change her life status” in the months before she tampered with the elderly woman’s medication, causing her death, the WA Supreme Court has been told.
- Alaine Dawn Sturniolo allegedly gave her grandmother morphine
- A post mortem confirmed morphine led to the 91-year-old’s death
- Ms Sturniolo denies the murder charge
Alaine Dawn Sturniolo, 39, is on trial accused of murdering 91-year-old May Dawn Gladstone Baldwin, who died in hospital seven days after she was found lying on her back in her Wembley Downs home, in January 2012.
It is alleged Ms Baldwin’s medication had been swapped by Ms Sturniolo with medication that had been prescribed for her uncle before his death from cancer in June 2011.
State prosecutor Paul Usher said the uncle’s medication, which was stored at Ms Baldwin’s home after his death, included morphine, which a post mortem examination of Ms Baldwin’s body found had led to her death.
However Mr Usher said morphine was not one of the medications prescribed to Ms Baldwin.
“It is the State’s case the accused intentionally gave her grandmother the medication of her deceased uncle … to kill or to cause her a bodily injury that was life-endangering or likely to be life-endangering,” Mr Usher told the court.
The court was told Ms Sturniolo “did not resile” from the fact she did not like her grandmother and in a post on social media in May 2011 she said her “grandmother’s life status” was one thing she wished she could change about her life.
In another post a month later, she said she “hated” the 91 year old, who was known as Dawn.
‘It would only take a few pills’
It was alleged that before Ms Baldwin’s death, Ms Sturniolo stated to relatives “how much life would be better without Dawn” and “it wouldn’t take much for her to drop off the perch — it would only take a few pills.”
Mr Usher said there were also alleged admissions by Ms Sturniolo in the years after her grandmother’s death, including her telling a work colleague in 2017: “I swapped her medications, I swapped her pills, and then she died because of that”.
Ms Sturniolo was arrested in 2018 and Mr Usher told the court that in an interview with police she said she had “never made any secret” of how much she “hated her grandmother and how she treated mum.”
Ms Sturniolo denies the murder charge.