A man who allegedly stabbed his wife to death was due to appear in court this week as she sought to protect herself from him.
Neville Michell had four charges from a previous assault and an AVO scheduled for Inverell Local Court on Thursday, one day after his wife was stabbed to death and his daughter left seriously injured. Mr Michell was later found dead at another house.
Magistrate Michael Antrum withdrew the charges of intentional choke, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and two counts of common assault, as well as an AVO taken out to protect his wife Michelle.
Mrs Michell died from stab wounds at a property at Inverell, in northern NSW, just after 2am Wednesday.
Her 21-year-old daughter, and Michell's alleged second victim, remains at Inverell hospital in a serious condition.
The accused himself was found dead at another property and police have since confirmed his death is not being treated as suspicious.
The magistrate expressed his sympathies to the family, friends and community of Inverell after the alleged murder-suicide.
Mr Antrum had before him a certificate of death identifying that the body was the accused, Neville Michell.
As a result of his death, and the death of the intended protected person Michelle Michell, he withdrew the charges.
"The Inverell community has experienced a horrible incident," he told the court.
"The community is undoubtedly very distressed about it.
"While I am not a resident... I have sat with communities who have been through a similar experience."
He said he had a certificate of verification that at 10.20am, a general practitioner was able to declare that Neville Michell was dead.
He said he had committed suicide after "allegedly committing an act of harm".
"The charges of common assault, intentionally choke, a further common assault and assault occasioning actual bodily harm are withdrawn."
He also withdrew the associated AVO in favour of the protected person Michelle Michell.
This was the first time the matters, which occurred in June, had come before the court.
"The court does express condolences to all those who knew the parties," he said.
He also appealed for the community to assist the police with their "very distressing inquiries".
A report is being prepared for the information of the coroner following the two deaths.
If you or someone you know needs help, please contact:
- Lifeline: 13 11 14
- Beyond Blue: 1300 224 636
- NSW Domestic Violence line: 1800 65 64 63