An 89-year-old woman who died after complications from a broken hip had accused a fellow resident of her Canberra aged care home of pushing her over, the ACT Supreme Court has heard. 

Key points:

  • Sheila Marie Capper died after suffering a broken hip in a Canberra aged care home in 2018
  • Prosecutors will argue the injury was a result of being pushed by fellow resident Mario Amato
  • Mr Amato went on trial today and has denied the charge of manslaughter 

Mario Amato, 61, went on trial today in the ACT Supreme Court, after he pleaded not guilty to the manslaughter of Sheila Marie Capper, who died in December 2018. 

Today the court was shown video footage taken within the Campbell nursing home of Mrs Capper being propelled through the doorway of a laundry, onto the floor.

“He pushed me, he pushed me,” were the first words the woman allegedly said to nursing staff as they came to her aid.

In the lead up to the incident, Mrs Capper can be seen with Mr Amato as the pair try to work out the door code to get into the laundry.

When they finally gain entry it is only a few moments before Mrs Capper is seen propelled into the hallway, although the actual incident was not captured on any footage.

Mrs Capper died in hospital three weeks after the alleged incident, from complications associated with her broken hip.

Prosecutors will argue 89-year-old didn’t have a fall

A man wearing a black hoodie tied around his face and sunglasses.

Mr Amato’s lawyers plan to raise concerns about the cause of death, and whether Mr Amato can be held responsible.(

ABC News


Key evidence in the case will come from a bio-mechanics expert, who prosecutors hope will show that Mrs Capper was pushed rather than fell.

Prosecutor Rebecca Christensen told the court the 89-year-old had been going into the laundry to iron a blouse.

When staff came to her rescue, Ms Christensen said Mrs Capper told them: “He did it, that man,” indicating Mr Amato.

The court will also hear evidence about a series of comments made by Mr Amato in phone calls intercepted by police, when he makes several statements, including denying pushing her.

But he also said he was concerned about getting her out of the laundry and says he pushed the door shut.

Ms Christensen told the court the footage was not consistent with his story.

Mrs Capper was suffering from a range of health issues, defence lawyer will argue

Mr Amato’s lawyer John White said he would raise concerns about the cause of death, and whether his client should be held responsible.

Mrs Capper was suffering from dementia, leukaemia and glaucoma and Mr White told the court she also had advanced pancreatic cancer.

He told the court the main issue in the case may be about whether anything done by Mr Amato substantially contributed to her death.

Ms Christensen conceded the prosecution’s case was circumstantial but said she hoped to show Mr Amato was responsible for the death.

“We say in legal terms the fractured hip was the cause of death,” she said.

The trial is set down for a week.

Posted , updated 

‘He pushed me’: Aged care resident identified alleged killer before death, court hears
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