Crime scene established in 2015 Investigators closed in on a 60-year-old Eli Waters man and charged him with the murder of 75-year-old Norma Ludlam.
Crime scene established in 2015 Investigators closed in on a 60-year-old Eli Waters man and charged him with the murder of 75-year-old Norma Ludlam. Jordan Philp

Murder case hears: "He never admitted to killing her.”

A CELLMATE of an accused murderer has given evidence on the promise of having his own sentences reduced in return.

The former prisoner is the latest witness in the high-profile case of Frederick Ronald Sinfield, who is accused of killing Eli Waters woman Norma Ludlam in 2015.

Mr Sinfield, 63, maintains he did not hurt his frail neighbour and instead claims he found Ms Ludlam already dying inside her bedroom.

He called the ambulance and Ms Ludlam later died in hospital.

Taking the witness stand in Hervey Bay Magistrates Court yesterday, Mr Sinfield's former jail cellmate recalled a conversation the pair shared behind bars in which Mr Sinfield maintained his innocence.

"He believed she had fallen and hit her head," the witness said.

"He said he had blood on his jeans from her head wound, from when he was holding her.

"He never admitted to killing her."

After spending three years in custody following his arrest, Mr Sinfield was yesterday committed to trial over the alleged homicide.

The prosecution has 97 witnesses they can call on at the upcoming Maryborough Supreme Court trial which will take place on a date not yet set.

Defence barrister Angus Edwards yesterday cross-examined some of those witnesses including a neighbour, a doctor, and several police officers, to clarify details.

The female neighbour was asked about what she knew about the relationship between Mr Sinfield and the deceased, claiming to have been told of conflict between the pair, some of which was allegedly over money.

Mr Sinfield and his wife had lived with Ms Ludlam, at one point caring for her, and he was also her carer prior to her death, the woman said.

She recalled Mr Sinfield saying he "hated" Ms Ludlam, however this information was not included in her police statement.

A doctor told the court Ms Ludlam's injuries indicated she was hit twice by a blunt object on the head, which said were factors in her death.

When asked whether items such as a baseball bat, brick or rock could have been used for the assault, the doctor said they were all possibilities in-line with the injuries.

Forensic police officer Sergeant Carl Streeting revealed how three saturated blood stains at the crime scene - two on the bed and one on the carpet - indicated Ms Ludlam could have been laying in each position for "hours" or "days" before the ambulance was called.

Blood was also located on the bed head and the wall, though it was uncertain as to how long they had been there.

The court heard Mr Sinfield told police officers he was prompted to enter Ms Ludlam's house after he looked through a window and saw her in that state.

However, Detective Chris Wheeler tested the claim and concluded it was not possible to see through the window in that way.

In court, Mr Edwards heavily questioned the police officers on their actions following the alleged homicide, suggesting Mr Sinfield had been manipulated into answering questions and was not properly informed that he was a suspect.

A detective attributed a procedural error to not asking Mr Sinfield why he wanted to continue an interview after the accused asked to stop.

The former cellmate was the latest individual to have his name added to the case's witness list.

His other recollections from his conversation with Mr Sinfield in late 2016 included Mr Sinfield allegedly saying he had been "sick" of being Ms Ludlam's carer, and described Mr Sinfield to appear "upset" over her death.

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