Pensioner bashed wife to death with elephant statue after fight over jelly shots

A Melbourne pensioner beat his wife of 56 years to death in a row over jelly shots on Christmas Day.

Edward Rowen, 83, and his wife Rosalie spent the day with family but that night, as she sat in her usual chair in their Creswick home, husband Edward Rowen attacked her with a wooden elephant statue.

The mother of four and beloved grandmother was rushed to the hospital where she died in the early hours of the following morning, MailOnline reports.

Rowen had been described as 'grumpy' during the festivities and had pushed or shoved his wife after a disagreement about jelly shots.

One of his daughters said her father had a sweet tooth but didn't understand that the shots contained alcohol.

He had already had three when Mrs Rowen tried to stop him from having more as he has also drunk four or five beers during the day.

He said he was still mad when he got home and when his wife began to 'pester' him about his behaviour he flew into a rage and attacked her.

Rowen's lawyer Tim Marsh said the murder is an "inexplicable crime" and that the argument was a "bizarre and outlandish motivation" after decades of marriage.

Prosecutor David Glynn agreed the killing could never be explained.

Supreme Court Justice Leslie Taylor found that Edward was guilty of the attack on his wife but due to his Alzheimer's diagnosis he was not fit to be tried for the crime.

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The ruling states Rowen should be subject to supervision, with further details to be determined at a later date.

Ordinarily supervision in the case of someone unfit to be tried would be through the Thomas Embling Hospital, a secure mental health hospital in suburban Melbourne.

Marsh said that facility wasn't appropriate in Rowen's case as they are not equipped to care for someone with Alzheimer's disease.

The Monash Psychogeriatric Unit is to be explored as an alternative.

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