Edward Kenneth Lord is expected to soon face trial over the alleged murder of his wife.
Edward Kenneth Lord is expected to soon face trial over the alleged murder of his wife. Contributed

Man pleads guilty to wife's death after car went into river

LATEST: A GOLD Coast man has pleaded guilty to manslaughter over the death of his wife after their car plunged into a North Coast river.

A grey-haired Edward Kenneth Lord wore a green prison-issue tracksuit and a gold wedding band when he faced the Supreme Court in Lismore on Tuesday.

The 55-year-old, from Bonogin on the Gold Coast, had been charged with murder over the October, 2015 death of his wife, Michele Lee Lord.

He was scheduled to face a five-week trial on that charge from this week and a jury had originally been expected to be empanelled as early as tomorrow.

But the prosecution has accepted a plea offer and Lord has formally pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter. 

Mrs Lord passed away two days after the pair's car plunged into the Tweed River near Tumbulgum and her husband was charged some 18 months later.

He has remained in custody since his arrest.

Crown prosecutor Kate Ratcliffe told the court she would accept Lord's manslaughter plea "in the full satisfaction" of the indictment.

Ms Ratcliffe tendered to the court an agreed set of facts detailing the circumstances of the incident, which Justice Ian Harrison read.

Defence barrister Jason Watts asked Justice Harrison for more time before his client's sentencing hearing.

"My application is for an adjournment to obtain some further evidence," Mr Watts said.

The court heard this would include a forensic psychologist preparing a report on Lord.

Justice Harrison asked whether it would be possible to finalise that evidence inside the five weeks set aside for the trial, and Mr Watts said it may be.

Mr Watts told the court the forensic psychologist may assess his client via video link, to expedite that process.

Justice Harrison adjourned the case to October 11, when they will consider the state of the required evidence.

It's expected a date for Lord's sentencing hearing will be set on that day.


Original story: A MAN accused of murdering his wife has appeared briefly before the Supreme Court in Lismore.

Edward Kenneth Lord, 55, remains in custody accused of killing his wife, Michele.

Police will allege Mr Lord was driving a car which plunged into the Tweed River near Tumbulgum on the night of October 18, 2015.

Mrs Lord, a passenger of the car, was taken to hospital following the crash, but passed away two days later.

Mr Lord's trial was listed before the Supreme Court in Lismore from yesterday but the court heard he had been transported to a Sydney remand prison in error.

But a grey-haired Mr Lord, wearing a green prison-issue tracksuit, was brought briefly into the dock this morning.

Defence barrister, Jason Watts, asked Justice Ian Harrison for more time to speak with his client.

The court heard a jury panel was scheduled to be available to the court tomorrow, although pre-trial legal arguments are yet to take place.

The case is expected to return to court later today.