Multi-millionaire accused murderer John Chardon scared his wife Novy so badly she “wet herself” on their bedroom carpet the night she went missing, a court has heard.
- John Chardon allegedly made “bad mistakes” covering up the alleged killing, including packing up things to suggest his wife had left, forgetting items like her passport, cash and cards
- The court heard Mr Chardon’s marriage to his wife soured amid his sexual dalliances with people he paid money to in the Philippines
- Mr Chardon allegedly asked one of his adult daughters to “get rid off” a plastic bag with handcuffs, gun parts and ammunition in it after Novy’s disappearance
Prosecutor Mark Green argued the bedroom carpet of the couple’s Upper Coomera home smelled of detergent the morning after Novy disappeared, because of “a threat that caused herself to spill urine on the carpet”.
Prosecutors also alleged the Gold Coast businessman enlisted his 15-year-old daughter to lie for him as part of his cover story for killing Novy in February 2013.
The 72-year-old industrial lubricant manufacturer maintained he was innocent under cross-examination in the Supreme Court in Brisbane on Tuesday.
“What was it you did that made Novy so scared she wet herself?” Mr Green said.
Mr Chardon replied: “Not a thing.”
Mr Green accused Mr Chardon of making “bad mistakes” covering up Novy’s killing, including by hastily packing up things to suggest she was leaving the house while forgetting key personal items such as her passport, piles of cash and cards.
Novy ‘nervous’ on night she disappeared
Mr Chardon denied that he expected more time before detectives began investigating Novy’s disappearance, saying it was his daughter who had encouraged others to leave it to the family to report her missing to police.
Mr Green: “[Your daughter]’s the sort of person who will do anything for you, isn’t she?”
Mr Chardon: “No, she’s very independent.”
Mr Green: “She’s certainly happy to repeat anything that you tell her, I’d suggest — you’re dragging your [15-year-old] daughter into this, to lie for you.”
Mr Chardon: “She won’t lie, I’ll tell you that now.”
Mr Green: “Why would you drag her into this when she couldn’t possibly have seen anything that night, could she, because she was asleep.”
Mr Chardon: “I was too.”
Novy Chardon was last seen in Upper Coomera on Queensland’s Gold Coast on February 6, 2013. (Supplied: Queensland Police Service)
That daughter said she noticed her mother was “nervous” on the night of her disappearance.
She said her mother had taken her to her friend Frederika Wong’s house and then to Officeworks, but became noticeably anxious on the way home.
“She [Novy] was a lot more cautious when driving, looking around her surroundings a bit more, nervous, she seemed more anxious,” the daughter told the court.
The daughter said she slept in a spare bedroom with her father and younger brother then woke up the next morning and her mother was gone.
The daughter conceded she had told police she noticed the smell of detergent on her mother’s bedroom carpet the next morning, but she told the court she now had no memory of it.
Sexual dalliances with people in Philippines
The court also heard Mr Chardon’s marriage to his wife soured amid his sexual dalliances with people he paid money to in the Philippines, and Novy’s own affairs and an extra-marital pregnancy.
Mr Chardon claimed he was not aware Novy wanted a divorce until around August 2012.
But the prosecution produced a letter from Mr Chardon’s lawyers in May 2012, making an offer on “full and final settlement as to all financial matters between you”.
This included transferring the “former matrimonial home” at Coomera into Novy’s name within 60 days but that Mr Chardon “be at liberty to use the pool … at all reasonable times”.
Mr Green told Mr Chardon: “You had been thinking about getting rid of her for some time, and what tipped you over was the suggestion that she was going to get some control over the children.”
Mr Chardon replied: “I knew that was never going to happen … I knew that we would get 50-50 [custody] because [former prime minister] John Howard changed it [the laws] when he was in.”
Mr Chardon said he could only recall Novy telling him she “had to go” before she left their home on February 6, 2013.
‘Don’t talk rot’
Mr Green alleged Mr Chardon had told one of his two adult daughters that their stepmother had told him “words to the effect that Novy had said she was leaving and not coming back until you moved out”.
When Mr Chardon said his “memory is so bad”, Mr Green replied: “Maybe you’ve just forgotten that you killed your wife?”
Mr Chardon replied: “Don’t talk rot.”
At one point, Mr Green asked: “Who helped you?”
Chardon: “Do what?”
Green: “Kill her?”
Chardon: “I didn’t kill her.”
Green: “Because somebody had to help you with [deposing of Novy’s] car.”
The court heard Mr Chardon asked one of his adult daughters to “get rid off” a plastic bag containing handcuffs, gun parts and ammunition, following Novy’s disappearance.
Sexual advance to wife’s best friend
Mr Chardon also admitting making a sexual advance for the first time to Novy’s best friend Frederika Wong when she visited the Coomera home the morning after Novy disappeared.
Mr Green further said: “You hadn’t propositioned ‘Rika’ before had you? That would have caused a major problem at home I’d suggest.”
Mr Chardon rejected Ms Wong’s evidence.
Mr Green added his wife’s friend had been “plainly offended” by the advance.
“You could have fooled me,” Mr Chardon said.
Mr Green said this showed he was “prepared to just make up anything to attack anyone when it suits you”, which Mr Chardon denied.
The trial continues.