Grandfather murderer finally says sorry
MURDERER Brittney Dwyer has broken her long silence by apologising for killing her grandfather and destroying her family - and saying she would "take it all back if she could".
Speaking exclusively to The Courier-Mail on Tuesday, just minutes after her life sentence began, Dwyer revealed her feelings of isolation and her hopes of seeing her family again.
Through her counsel, she also took issue with her former co-accused's tell-all TV interview - and that woman's blunt denial of their intimate relationship.
"Miss Dwyer says 'I am sorry, and I would take it all back if I could'," defence barrister Craig Caldicott said after the sentencing.
"She is effectively distraught ... she is going to spend the next 20 years in custody, and that's an incredibly long time for someone who has only just turned 20 years old.
"But she knows that, through her actions, she has lost her grandfather, her entire family and now her girlfriend - who will not admit they were a couple."
Dwyer, 20, was impassive as Supreme Court Justice Kevin Nicholson jailed her for life, with a 21-year non-parole period, for murdering Robert Whitwell, 81, in August 2016.
He dubbed Dwyer's lifestyle "chaotic" - plagued by drugtaking and consumed by her relationship with Shelby Lee Angie Holmes.
Holmes, 20, spent a week in prison for trespassing over her part in Dwyer's first attempt to steal Mr Whitwell's $111,000 life savings.
During that incident, Dwyer sent Holmes a text message warning her "not to get attached" to her grandfather "because he might have to die".
"Since your early school days, you have considered yourself to be gay," Justice Nicholson said.
"Shelby Holmes became your best friend ... you've said she is the only real friend that you've had ... she became your sole focus during your time together.
"However you found the relationship confusing because Ms Holmes wanted to maintain relationships with other people, both male and female, notwithstanding the intimacy of her relationship with you."
Last week, Holmes told Channel Seven's Sunday Night program that she and Dwyer had not been in a relationship.
Asked if there was anything she would say to Dwyer, she replied: "No."
On Tuesday, Mr Caldicott said the interview had upset Dwyer.
"Miss Dwyer and Miss Holmes were a couple, and she is unhappy with the presentation on Channel Seven," he said.
"She feels it did not tell the whole story ... there was phone contact, yesterday, between Miss Holmes and Miss Dwyer ... they have discussed this."
Dwyer's mother, Tonya, told Sunday Night she felt she "needed to see" her daughter "but not right now", owing to her grief over the murder of her father.
Mr Caldicott said Dwyer wanted to see her mother.
"She is going to be isolated from her family, friends and acquaintances because she is from Queensland, but will be in jail here in SA," he said.
"I'm hopeful that, eventually, the family may resume contact with Miss Dwyer as it's important to her ... she talks about the fact she hasn't seen them ... she misses them."