Murder/suicide: Ex husband out on bail


There are calls for tighter bail conditions in NSW, after the murder of a 76-year-old women in the small country town of Olinda.

Police officers from Mudgee Local Area Command and homicide detectives are investigating after being called to the address, just after 10pm on Friday.

They found the body of Margaret McCullough. 

The 76-year-old was shot dead by her ex-husband who was out on bail.

William George Stafford had ­ignored an apprehended ­violence order taken out against him and shot his ex-partner at the property.

It’s believed the 76-year-old then drove to Lue and shot himself. His body was discovered at 9:40am on Saturday.

It has now been revealed that Stafford was due to face Lithgow Local Court on ­August 10, charged with common assault, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, firearms offences, and stalking and intimidation.

Stafford previously lived at Olinda but was recently staying in Portland.

Mrs McCulloch’s death came just three months after the relationship broke up.

Under the bail conditions, Stafford had to report to Rylstone police station three times each week.

A spokesperson for the Red Heart Campaign is encouraging women who are experiencing domestic violence to seek help.

“In this circumstance, this lady had already been out of the relationship for six months.”

“Unless this guy was locked up, pending trial there was no way she was going to come out alive; it just wasn’t going to happen.

“He was clearly intent on killing her and really it probably comes down to questioning the bail laws and the decision that saw him released,” the spokesperson said.

Margaret is the 35th Australian woman murdered this year.

“It sounds like the police should have pushed for him not to be released on bail or put very tight restrictions on his whereabouts.

“Or they should have gotten her out,” she said.

“At the end of the day, an AVO was never going to stop him, he was intent on killing her, and sadly he had the means to do it.”

Four women have been murdered in Australia in July, all from male perpetrators.

“July has been a horrid month,” the spokesperson said.

According to 2015 statistics from the Australian Institute of criminology ‘On average, at least one woman a week is killed by a partner or former partner in Australia’.

  • Domestic violence help line: 1800 RESPECT
  • Lifeline: 13 11 14