Jun 13, 2024

Lawyers seek palliative care for 92-year-old accused of his wife’s murder

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Frank Dimasi with his wife Maria who he is accused of murdering in their Adelaide home. [Source: Nine News]

The health of a 92-year-old Adelaide man who is accused of stabbing his wife to death last December has reportedly dropped to alarming levels with his lawyers pushing for a move to residential aged care where he can receive proper palliative care.

Francesco ‘Frank’ Dimasi was arrested and charged with the murder of his wife, 85-year-old Maria Dimasi, in Adelaide’s Western suburbs last year. Police prosecutors told the court Mr Dimasi was found at their home after he called triple-0 and admitted to arguing with his wife and killing her.

Nonna Maria, as she was affectionately known, was well-known in Adelaide’s Italian community for her cooking and she often volunteered at Nonna Cucina’s to make meals for vulnerable people. 

“Nonna Maria is our Executive Chef Stefan’s Nonna and also became everyone else’s Nonna in our community. She will be remembered for her big smile and generosity,” Nonna’s Cucina President Rebecca Staltari wrote on Facebook following the death.

Frank was allegedly found covered in blood and had been drinking alcohol having attended a community event on the night of her murder. He had a blood alcohol level more than four times the legal limit. Additionally, it was reported he was taken to hospital with alleged self-inflicted injuries upon his arrest. 

Mr Dimasi’s counsel has previously explained to the court that the 92-year-old has dementia and he missed his very first hearing because he was unconscious all day.

Additionally, he was excused from court in January due to a serious infection that left him experiencing delirium. 

His defence counsel said her client was unwell, claiming, “He’s not in a state to be appearing on the screen today” and stating he would not be making an application for bail.

He has since remained at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital under police guard but there are now urgent calls for his release due to a drastic decline in health. 

7NEWS Adelaide reported that he “Can’t move and is undergoing palliative care” while he is also believed to be intensely agitated. His lawyers also claimed that moving him to an aged care home would free up a much-needed hospital bed.

A bail report has been ordered as the case is set to return to court later this month, although it seems unlikely Frank’s health will improve to even make a video call appearance. 

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