court hears Cindy Crossthwaite’s chilling words to friends before shooting


A woman who police allege was murdered by her estranged husband and another man talked about her “time being up” before she was killed, a court has heard.

The Melbourne Magistrates Court on Thursday heard Cindy Crossthwaite was scared of her ex-partner, and was warned by friends that she should go to police.

Emil Petrov, Ms Crossthwaite’s ex-partner who was commonly known as Bill, and Brian O’Shea, and another man, are accused of killing her in 2007 in the Melbourne suburb of Melton.

A friend, Julie Burford, told the court she saw Ms Crossthwaite the day before she died.

“She said, ‘I know Bill will kill me’,” Ms Burford said.

“Cindy talked about her time being up.”

Ms Crossthwaite’s friend Margot Ashworth told the court she was in “complete shock” when police appeared on her doorstep telling her that her friend was dead.

“I remember sitting in my lounge room – emotional, distraught,” she said.

She told the court “there was no doubt in my mind that it was Mr Petrov” when she learned her friend had been murdered.

The court heard she told police in 2007 after the murder: “I knew Cindy had been scared for the safety of herself and the kids over the last few years.”

“She was always fearful that Bill would come and take the children.”

Ms Ashworth had been friends with Ms Crossthwaite for about four years before she was killed.

She said Ms Crossthwaite would frequently talk to her about her problems with her ex, Mr Petrov.

Defence lawyer Sam Tovey asked Ms Ashworth about another one of Ms Crossthwaite’s ex-partners.

Ms Ashworth agreed she knew the other partner had broken Ms Crossthwaite’s nose, and that she had been headbutted and “suffered injuries” at his hands.

Another friend, Kerryn Wilkie, said she told police about “threats” Mr Petrov had made against Ms Crossthwaite.

“I informed them that he had threatened to kill her if she ever left,” she said.

She said she warned Ms Crossthwaite she should go to the police “a couple of times a year” over their 12-year close friendship, depending on Mr Petrov’s behaviour and “how extreme” it was.

She said Ms Crossthwaite was also scared of Mr Petrov’s “controlling” father.

Ms Crossthwaite’s murder remained a cold case until Mr Petrov and Mr O’Shea were charged in 2019.



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