SA triple murder: grandmothers’ grief

Posted on 12/17/2018

Donna Rigney says Steven Graham Peet has caused her family overwhelming grief every day (file)The “vision” of how her beloved young grandchildren were murdered – strangled with cable ties -haunts Janet Wells, something she “can never stop thinking about”.

“I loved our babies more than life itself and knowing how they died kills me,” she told the South n Supreme Court in a victim impact statement on Friday.

“It’s a vision I can never stop thinking about.”

It came after Steven Graham Peet earlier pleaded guilty to the murders of Adeline Yvette Wilson-Rigney, and grandchildren Amber, 6, and Korey, 5.

Peet strangled Ms Wilson-Rigney and her children with cable ties before trying to conceal their bodies at a property north of Adelaide in May 2016.

Ms Wells joined the maternal grandmother of the children Donna Rigney in describing the “overwhelming grief” they have lived with since the tragedy.

“The pain that you have brought upon me and my family has caused overwhelming grief every day,” Ms Rigney said.

She told the court the day of the triple murder was the most painful of her life, and her “whole world was turned upside down” by the tragedy.

The bodies of Ms Wilson-Rigney and the children were all found with cable ties around their necks and hidden under clothes and bedding and, in the case of the boy, under a child’s play tent.

The young girl had adhesive tape wrapped around her head and a sock had been stuffed in her mouth.

Her arms had been tied behind her back.

The young boy had parts of his body wrapped in tape and his hands and feet were secured behind his back in a hog-tied fashion.

Ms Wilson-Rigney had also suffered severe head injuries consistent with being struck with the claw-end of a crowbar or a hammer.

Her body was found in the laundry but evidence suggested she was attacked in another room and dragged there.

Ms Wells, the paternal grandmother of the children, said she was moved to provide a statement due to the effect the killings has had on her husband.

The court heard statements detailing the consequences of the crime on several other relatives from both sides of the family.

In sentencing submissions, defence counsel Bill Boucaut said Peet will feel “shame and regret” for the rest of his life.

“He genuinely held Yvette Rigney in affection and he loved her children.”

Prosecutor Tim Preston said Peet killed Ms Wilson-Rigney in anger and her children because they witnessed their mother’s murder.

He urged Justice Malcolm Blue not to accept in any form Peet’s earlier claim of disassociation during the murder of Amber and Korey.

“It’s hard to envisage a crime of greater objective seriousness,” he said.

Peet was remanded in custody with the case adjourned to next Wednesday.