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  • Jason Regan

Dead woman's ex made alleged kill threat

Months before Melbourne woman Joanne Howell was found dead in her home, her partner said he was going to kill her, a court has been told. 

A supplied undated image obtained Tuesday, December 29, 2020 shows Joanne Howell. Victoria Police have launched a fresh appeal over the 2007 murder of Melbourne woman Joanne Howell. (AAP Image/Victoria Police)

Howard Williams on Thursday said when Ms Howell and her then-boyfriend Paul Charlton visited him in Horsham, about three months before she was found dead at the bottom of her home's stairs in April 2007, the couple had a heated fight in their car. 

The argument, Mr Williams said, resulted in the 51-year-old woman throwing a hamburger at Charlton. 

"Paul then said to me: 'I can't take this any longer, I'm 'gonna f***ing kill her'," Mr Williams told Melbourne Magistrates Court.

Charlton, 67, was charged with Ms Howell's murder in January last year and is facing a week-long committal hearing to determine whether he stands trial before the Victorian Supreme Court. 

One of her best friends, Toni Perriman, said Ms Howell told her Charlton had hit her within three months of them seeing each other. 

"It was such a dysfunctional relationship," Ms Perriman told the court on Thursday.
"She would say: 'One minute I can see us growing old together, and the next I can imagine him putting a knife in my back'.
"I would swear on my kids' heart that no one else was responsible for Joanne's death other than Paul Charlton." 

Two days before she died, Ms Howell told Ms Perriman she wanted to end the relationship.

"She said: 'Toni, he's crazy, he needs to go see anger management. He revolts me - I don't wan't him to have sex with me, I don't want him to touch me. I want him out my life'," Ms Perriman told the court.

The hearing continues on Friday. 

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