Victim in murder trial was 'always laughing', brother says
Warning: This story contains graphic details that may offend some readers
The younger brother of a woman who died after her husband allegedly scalded her with boiling water described her as shy but always laughing, and said he was close to her until she got married.
Donna Ellen Jones-Hutt, 33, was found dead in her own home in December 2009.
Her husband, Mark Hutt, 36, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder.
On Wednesday, Crown prosecutor Meaghan Cunningham alleged Hutt scalded her with boiling water and then left her to die.
On Thursday, Derek Jones's voice cracked at times as he described his sister, often looking directly in the eyes of the man accused of killing her.
Jones described his sister as "a bowlful of jelly, she was always laughing and willing to help others." He also described her as shy and said she "didn't have much success with boys."
Sister became withdrawn
He said that as his sister's relationship with Hutt progressed he noticed that she became withdrawn. Jones told the jury that he tried to stop his sister from marrying Hutt, but she refused.
He also testified that he urged his sister get a prenuptial agreement because she had a job, a government pension and savings, whereas Hutt was broke.
Jones said that on random visits to her home he noticed she was buying Hutt expensive gifts, like an all-terrain vehicle and a new pool table. He also noticed punch holes in her walls.
Jones said a few weeks before his sister's wedding he and her closest girlfriends confronted her about suspecting abuse in the relationship and wanted her to leave her fiancé. He said she denied the abuse and refused to leave Hutt.
When her friends threatened to withdraw from the wedding party, Jones-Hutt responded by getting new bridesmaids, Jones testified.
He said that when the couple married in 2007, Hutt stopped coming to family functions.
"Donna wasn't her happy-go-lucky self. She became cold, suspicious, fearful. She wasn't herself, she was a drone," he said.
Jones said he noticed more physical injuries on his sister after the marriage. He said she had a broken wrist that required surgical pins to hold it together, and he testified that she told him she had slipped on some rocks.
He also said she blamed burns on her hands on a pot handle that broke while she was making pasta.
Wounds became infected, Crown alleges
The crown alleged Wednesday that after Hutt burned Jones-Hutt, her wounds became infected and she descended into septic shock and died 11 days later.
Hutt initially told police that his wife fell into a fire pit at a work gathering. He told police that she didn't want to go to the hospital.
Earlier on Thursday, Deborah Anne Sinclair, a domestic violence expert and a crown witness, was cross-examined. She said victims seek to protect abusers, even if it is to their own detriment.
The trial is expected to last seven weeks.