An elderly Perth man accused of the “mercy” murder of his 83-year-old wife has died in hospital.
Harold Barclay, 86, was charged in January after the discovery of the body of his wife, Nancy, at their Alexander Heights home.
Mr Barclay, who had been diagnosed with cancer, was initially held in custody but he was released on bail after about a week because of the exceptional circumstances of the case.
A bail hearing in the Supreme Court in February was told Mr Barclay said to police he had wanted to put his wife out of her misery.
The home in Alexander Heights where 83-year-old Nancy Barclay’s body was found. (ABC News: Joanna Menagh)
The court heard the couple had been married for 63 years, but over the past couple of years Mrs Barclay had been suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and her husband was her full-time carer.
On the night of Mrs Barclay’s death, Mr Barclay had gone to bed — leaving his wife sitting at the dining table.
Mrs Barclay had forgotten to take her sleeping tables and her husband woke in the early hours of the morning of January 24 to find her still seated at the table.
He went to help her but she fell to the ground, and he then strangled her until she died.
In granting Mr Barclay bail, Justice Lindy Jenkins said the case was “clearly an exceptional” one, noting that Mr Barclay had metastatic melanoma and had “very limited life expectancy”.
Mr Barclay had not attended his past few court appearances because he was in palliative care.
He was scheduled to appear in the Stirling Gardens Magistrates Court today, but the matter has been discontinued following his death last month.