Wife in court over farmer's shooting

Jennifer Cooke
May 9, 2007 - 4:00PM

Joe Rix.

The wife of a man who staggered three kilometres for help after being shot on his western NSW property nine days ago was having a affair with a colleague and allegedly provided the gun and ammunition used in the shooting, Waverley Local Court was told today.

Telephone intercepts form part of a strong police case against Andrea Louise Rix, magistrate Lee Gilmour was told.

Rix, 33, had travelled from the 700-acre property Biparoo she shared with animal nutritionist Joe Rix, 29, near Bogan Gate, to stay for the past eight days at his hospital bedside.

Mr Rix, whom police alleged in court was shot in the stomach, head and back when he tried to flee his attacker on the evening of May 1, remains in a serious but stable condition in the Prince of Wales Hospital.

Sergeant Nadia David, prosecuting, said Terence Sealy, 44, had made full admissions and implicated Rix. Sealy was refused bail at a specially convened hearing before a registrar in Parkes Local Court earlier today.

Sergeant David said Rix has been charged, with Sealy, with conspiracy to murder and shoot with intent to murder.

Rix, who last week had appealed for public help in solving the mystery of why anyone would shoot her husband, had been involved in telephone discussions with Sealy intercepted by police, while she sat by her injured husband, who has fears for his life, the court was told during today's bail application.

"There has been discussions regarding not disclosing their relationship to anybody and that they will get through the matter and that when they do Andrea Rix will just leave the victim and that they won't go to the same extreme next time," the police facts, read aloud by Ms Gilmour, stated.

Both Rix and Sealy worked for Country Energy and had a sexual relationship for six months, the court was told.

Mr Rix was transferred by air ambulance from Parkes Hospital to the intensive care unit of the Prince of Wales Hospital with shotgun pellets in his stomach, buttocks and hand following the alleged ambush attack on the evening of May 1.

He has undergone three operations and needs more surgery to remove shotgun pellets, Sergeant David said.

Nick Boyden, Rix's solicitor, disputed police allegations that his client was involved in divorcing her husband.

"There is no divorce, no separation, nothing of that nature was even contemplated as of the first of May," he said.

Ms Gilmour refused bail even though "it is not suggested she was in fact the person who pulled the trigger - that was left to her co-accused".

"The facts before me indicate a very serious premeditated attempt to take the victim's life."

Rix's grandmother, who had travelled from Forbes to Sydney today, wept at the back of the courtroom as Rix was led back to the police cells.

She was remanded in custody to appear with Sealy in the Parkes Local Court tomorrow.

She was arrested yesterday after attending Maroubra police station in Sydney.

Sealy fully admitted involvement: police

Sealy was arrested about 10am yesterday.

Opposing bail for Sealy, Detective Senior Constable Scott Wilcox told the court that Sealy had fully admitted his involvement in the attempted murder.

Mr Wilcox said that Andrea Rix and Sealy had conspired to shoot Mr Rix, then travelled to his property and lay in wait for him to arrive.

Sealy, who had no previous police record, sat motionless as the charges were read out to the court, which contained members of his family.

Bail was denied due to the strength of the police case and seriousness of the offence.

However, Sealy was expected to re-apply for bail at another hearing in Parkes tomorrow.

Police would allege Rix and Sealy had been involved in an "intimate relationship", Detective Sergeant Steve Howard earlier told reporters in Parkes.

He said Mr Rix had mechanical trouble with his car the night he was shot, meaning he arrived home later than usual.

By the time he reached his farm the car was almost broken down, but after he was shot he managed to run into the darkness.

"It was a miraculous escape," Mr Howard said.

He said it would be alleged Rix provided the rifle and ammunition used in the shooting to Sealy, who was estranged from his wife.

Mr Howard described the attempted murder as "quite a sad case", in which "two people had destroyed not only their lives but that of their families".

All the families involved were "totally devastated", he said, while Sealy was "very remorseful for his actions" and it had "just hit home to him what happened".

Police were very confident they would soon recover the weapon used to shoot Mr Rix, Mr Howard said.

He said police knew where the gun was and specialist officers would be used to recover it.

- with AAP and Parkes Champion Post