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Slain Melbourne mother Samantha Fraser lived in constant fear of husband Adrian Basham

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Slain mother found dead in her garage lived in constant ‘fear and terror’ of her husband and ‘knew her life was at risk’ before she was murdered, court hears

  • Adrian Basham is charged with the July 2018 murder of his wife Samantha Fraser
  • The mother was found in her home’s garage on Phillip Island, south of Melbourne
  • Her friend told a court on Monday that Ms Fraser said she lived in fear and terror
  • The court heard Ms Fraser told her friend Mr Basham threatened to kill her 
  • Ms Fraser’s brother in law described Mr Basham as ‘controlling and manipulative’

Samantha Fraser lived in constant ‘fear and terror’ of her husband before she was found dead in her garage, a court has heard.

Adrian Basham, 42, is charged with the murder of his 38-year-old wife, whose body was found in her home’s garage on Phillip Island, south of Melbourne, on July 23 last year.

Her tragic death was initially treated as suicide, but Basham was charged with her murder 11 days later. 

The mother-of-three’s close friend Nadine Leed told the Latrobe Valley Magistrates’ Court on Monday Ms Fraser told her that her husband showed signs of being a ‘dangerous person’. 

Samantha Fraser lived in 'fear and terror' of her husband before she was found dead in her garage

Samantha Fraser lived in ‘fear and terror’ of her husband before she was found dead in her garage

Ms Fraser, a psychologist, told Ms Leed that Mr Basham had ‘began to unravel’. 

‘She knew her life was at risk. She knew that by taking her power back and deciding to leave him that would cause him to retaliate in an aggressive and dangerous manner,’ Ms Leed told the court.  

She said Ms Fraser told her he threatened to kill her, their children and himself, the Herald Sun reported.

The court heard Ms Fraser feared her husband Adrian Basham - who has been charged with her murder - secretly set up surveillance cameras around her house

The court heard Ms Fraser feared her husband Adrian Basham – who has been charged with her murder – secretly set up surveillance cameras around her house 

According to Ms Leed, Ms Fraser told her: ‘Adrian doesn’t love us. He just thinks we are his possessions.’

The court heard Ms Fraser feared her husband had secretly set up surveillance cameras around her house and bugged her phone.

In 2017, she was given a police-issued phone and changed the locks to her house. 

Ms Fraser’s mother Janine told the court her daughter had to account for all her spending.  

‘I would hear her say things like Adrian is going to be really mad at me for buying this,’ she said. 

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Her mother told the court the accused murderer tried to ‘bully’ Ms Fraser into getting one of their children tested for disabilities before they were born as he didn’t want an ‘abnormal’ baby.  

The court also heard that Ms Fraser would become panicked in the lead up to Mr Basham returning home to Phillip Island from his fly-in fly-out job in Western Australia.

The body of Samantha Frasier, a 38-year-old psychologist, was found in her home's garage on Phillip Island, south of Melbourne, on July 23 last year

The body of Samantha Frasier, a 38-year-old psychologist, was found in her home’s garage on Phillip Island, south of Melbourne, on July 23 last year

Ms Leed said her friend would clean the house immaculately before he arrived home, and even made sure the jars in the kitchen cupboard were facing the right way so the labels could be seen.     

‘If she had gone to the supermarket and bought the wrong groceries or wrong crackers or didn’t get the cheese he liked then that wouldn’t be okay,’ Ms Leed said.   

Ms Leed said Ms Fraser wrote down every appointment she went to and who she spoke to in a diary. She believed this was Mr Basham’s idea more than Ms Fraser’s.

Ms Fraser’s brother in law, Luke Henderson, told the court she confided in him that Mr Basham backed her into a corner and intimidated her.

Mr Henderson said he noticed Ms Fraser had lost a dramatic amount of weight, and was becoming broken down mentally.

He called Mr Basham ‘controlling and manipulative,’ and said everything in his home needed to be a particular way.  

The committal hearing continues. 

Ms Leed said Ms Fraser (pictured) would clean the house immaculately before he arrived home, and even made sure the jars in the kitchen cupboard were facing the right way so the labels could be seen

Ms Leed said Ms Fraser (pictured) would clean the house immaculately before he arrived home, and even made sure the jars in the kitchen cupboard were facing the right way so the labels could be seen

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