News Asia-Pacific

Thursday 18 September 2014

Husband arrested after estranged wife Comrie Cullen found dead in Sydney car park

Man being treated in hospital for 'significant injuries to his arms and upper torso'

Published 23/01/2014 | 13:18

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Comrie Cullen

A man has been taken into police custody after his estranged wife from Northern Ireland was found dead in a car park in Sydney.

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Mother-of-three Comrie Cullen, 39, was discovered with severe trauma wounds to her upper body at an isolated angler's club yesterday and the man is under guard in hospital.

New South Wales Superintendent Gregory Antonjuk said the suspect, 50, was found leaving a swampy mangrove area nearby with significant injuries to his arms and upper torso.

"We have the understanding that they were married for a period of 15-16 years and as of late last year, around October, the couple became estranged and there was some domestic incidents related to that reported to police," he told the Sydney Morning Herald.

"As a consequence of those reports an apprehended violence order was issued by the courts."

No further reports have been made to police since November.

Mr Antonjuk told local media that a crime scene was established following the discovery of the woman's body at the St George and Sutherland Shire Anglers Club at Taren Point.

"A male was located exiting the mangrove swamp area near the vicinity of the crime scene," he said.

"That person exhibited significant injuries to his arms and upper torso. He was immediately taken into custody and conveyed to a local hospital where he currently remains under police guard pending further treatment and surgery."

A Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) spokeswoman said they were liaising with the family following the reports in Australia.

The PSNI issued a statement on behalf of Ms Cullen's family in Bangor, Co Down.

"Our family is devastated by Comrie's tragic death and we would ask for no media intrusion at this time," they said.

Specially trained officers are providing support to the family and are in contact with authorities in New South Wales about the investigation into her death and arrangements for her repatriation.

Ms Cullen was found with knife wounds to her throat in a Sydney car park.

A passerby discovered the body of Ms Cullen, slumped against a white car believed to be her own.

Her estranged husband Christopher Cullen (50) was found close to the scene with ‘self-inflicted’ knife wounds to his chest and wrists.

Ms Cullen was due in court to fight a legal battle against her estranged husband yesterday, the same day of the violent attack.

The couple split last October after a 15-year marriage and Ms Cullen had successfully sought an apprehended violence order against her husband last November.

Australian authorities have said that the Cullens had no family in Australia except for their three children, aged 5, 7, and 11, who are now in the care of friends.

Mr Cullen remained in St George Hospital on Thursday under police guard at the time of writing.

New South Wales Superintendent Gregory Antonjuk said Mr Cullen was found leaving a swampy mangrove area nearby with significant injuries to his arms and upper torso.

"We have the understanding that they were married for a period of 15-16 years and as of late last year, around October, the couple became estranged and there was some domestic incidents related to that reported to police," he told the Sydney Morning Herald.

"As a consequence of those reports an apprehended violence order was issued by the courts."

No further reports have been made to police since November.

Mr Antonjuk told local media that a crime scene was established following the discovery of the woman's body at the St George and Sutherland Shire Anglers Club at Taren Point.

"A male was located exiting the mangrove swamp area near the vicinity of the crime scene," he said.

"That person exhibited significant injuries to his arms and upper torso. He was immediately taken into custody and conveyed to a local hospital where he currently remains under police guard pending further treatment and surgery."

A number of items have been collected from the Taren Point crime scene for examination and an autopsy will be conducted.

A Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) spokeswoman said they were liaising with the family following the reports in Australia.

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