Cold case: 'wife hacked up husband'

Jordan Baker
November 7, 2007 - 1:12PM
Victim ... Wayne Chant, described as a violent man.

Victim ... Wayne Chant, described as a violent man.


A woman shot her husband dead, hacked his body up with an axe and got her teenage son to help scatter the dismembered parts in various locations, police investigating a 15-year-old cold case told Liverpool Local Court today.

Joyce Chant, now 57, was charged with the 1992 murder of 47-year-old Wayne Chant. Their son, Jamie Chant, now 34, was charged as an accessory.

The mother and son were arrested yesterday after body parts were identified with the help of US DNA experts.

Police told the court detectives secretly installed listening devices in Joyce  Chant's home in Lurnea and Jamie Chant's house in Mount Pritchard, in Sydney's west, on October 30 this year.

Prosecutor Graham Wedge said the defendants were recorded discussing aspects of the case, including their alibis.

Police said Joyce Chant confessed soon after her arrest and implicated her son. When he was told of what his mother had said, Jamie Chant also confessed.

Defence lawyer Paul Byrne, SC, acting for Jamie Chant, described Wayne Chant as a violent man who had kept firearms in his home and car.

Mr Byrne said Jaimie Chant had been severely injured in a car accident a year ago.

Mr Byrne applied but failed to gain bail for his client whom he described as a community-orientated businessman.

AAP reports: Magistrate Mark Shepherd said his decision was "to protect the community from this sort of behaviour".

Jaimie Chant was remanded in custody to appear at Central Local Court on  January 16.

Joyce Chant did not apply for bail and it was formally refused. She is due to appear via audio visual link at Central Local Court on the same date.

The accused pair sat next to each other in the dock today but did not look at each other.

Grey-haired Joyce Chant, who is reliant on a walking stick, looked drawn and stared at the floor throughout much of the hearing.

James Chant, who also uses a walking stick as a result of the car crash, was emotional, frequently covering his eyes with his hands and clutching his head.