The family of a woman brutally murdered by her daughter have told a court of the terrifying moment they were forced to face pools of dark red blood at the gruesome crime scene in Sydney’s south-west two decades ago.
In May, a Supreme Court jury found Isabella Camelo-Gomez guilty of murdering her mother, Irene Jones, in November 2001.
Kamela-Gomez, 49, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Ms Jones, who was found strangled and stabbed in the neck at her Lancevale home.
However, jurors rejected her version of events, that her mother was killed during a forced home invasion.
During a sentencing hearing on Thursday morning, Keith Sheldrick made a victim impact statement on behalf of Ms Jones’ family, saying the pain and grief of killing a loved one in her own home still resonates more than 20 years later.
He said the family would carry with them the images of the home where Ms Jones was strangled and stabbed twice in the neck for the rest of their lives.
“It is very difficult to describe how difficult it was to visit the scene and the final resting place of a loved one who had been killed,” Mr Sheldrick told the court.
“After all this time, I’m still struggling and can’t find the words to put it succinctly.
“What we saw was a lot of blood. A pool of dark red blood all over the kitchen, on the cabinets and on the floor.
“For a while we just felt so numb and doubted if it was even real. After all, the scene of that day was implanted forever.”
An inquest into Ms Jones’s death in November 2007 found that her killer could not be identified.
After being considered the prime suspect for nearly two decades, Camelot-Gomez was arrested and charged in September 2019.
The court was told that after the murder, Kamela-Gomez went to a neighbour’s house, saying she had been attacked by an intruder.
After responding to Camelo-Gomez’s triple 0 calls, officers found Ms. Jones, 56, lying face down in a pool of blood on the kitchen floor.
Camella-Gomez, also known as Megan Jones, told police she was attacked by a man with a stocking head and ran from the premises.
During the trial, the Crown argued that Camelo-Gomez killed Ms Jones because her mother was interfering with her relationship with a man named Carlos Camelo-Gomez.
Prosecutors argued she was also motivated by financial reasons and inherited her mother’s house.
After the verdict was handed down earlier this year, Kamela-Gomez told her lawyer that the jury got it “wrong” and expressed disbelief.
On Thursday, the court heard her lawyers argued Judge Helen Wilson could not find she had strangled and stabbed her mother to death. But rather, she participated in a joint criminal enterprise with Carlos Camelo-Gómez.
Barrister Belinda Rigg SC told the court that custody had been difficult for Kamela-Gomez because of her inability to see her family members, who had no one to care for them.
In addition, she said that Camelot-Gomez was threatened by inmates.
“The evidence suggests that she is in protective custody out of genuine concern for her welfare,” Ms Rigg said.
“She was placed in custody due to threats from other inmates.”
Kamel-Gomez will be sentenced on November 15.