Australian woman escapes violence – the next wife wasn’t so lucky

Helen Cummings was married to Stuart Wynter, a respected physician, who was also violent. She took her children and fled in 1976. Wynter killed his next wife, their child, and then himself.

Under today’s family law in Australia, it would be harder for Cummings to escape.

Read She once escaped a killer – under today’s laws she would still be trapped on SMH.com.au.

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33 Comments on "Australian woman escapes violence – the next wife wasn’t so lucky"

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I could not read through all of this because of the triggers it is.

It is all completely disgusting and unfathomable.

God Bless the children. Made me just want to go hug my babies.

No child deserves this garbage………..

I cannot undertand this extreme lack of love, care and protection. I could not understand it for myself and I cannot understand it here.

I’m sickened.


Dani, I don’t qualify for legal aid because I have too many assets in my name, because he refused to have them transferred (except for one, which he needed for to get his business loan). Even though they are in my name, the court order says that he gets all the rent (to pay property expenses) until 2 are sold, then the loan repaid and I will get one free of debt. Until then I cannot sell any or get the rent. So I depend on his child support, which he lowered as soon as the order was lodged. I have managed to access womens legal service, but they say they cannot help me long term because I have assets. The lawyer on duty was also quite clueless.

I am just going to have to play it by ear. He keeps asking for the kids willy nilly. Today I got an urgent email asking for them for a long weekend coming up – he is going on a picnic with his church bible study group. I asked my supportive pastor about talking to leaders about encouraging him to bring his kids, but she said they couldn’t be seen telling members what to do or he could accuse me for spreading lies about him, or getting people against him, etc. He also gave me one hour’s notice to take a son out this morning. I said no, and just as well, because he went to a place where I nearly ended up going, where my friends were going to be. Trouble is, if I keep saying No, he will be more inclined to take me to court because of his frustrations.

He has the kids now, but the last two Wednesdays that he has had the kids, one kid has ended up coming back at night for something or other that he wants, and the poor kid ends up being too scared to walk back in the dark. I told him not to come back for things or to give me anything, but his dad insists.

Sorry for going on. I just wish I could fast forward 2 years and have your ending, Dani. Oh, and my older son was the victim of an aggravated assault, yet his lawyer asked that he sees him. After I said no, he should be allowed to express his own opinion, she then said that she would take me to court for the younger ones because they have nothing to do with that police record, and anyway, I couldn’t prove domestic violence. Boy, talk about the legal profession colluding the abuser!

Not-too-late I understand your frustrations and trust me my journey to now was hellish but yes it ended well for me to date only due to 2 factors, 1 my parents helping me financially to fight my ex through the courts and 2 him giving up the fight.

To say it plainly I would have been stuffed if it were not for my parents and I would have a whole different story. The ex knew he was not just fighting me but my whole family and he couldn’t cope being outed as the Sociopath that he is. For now just keep reassuring your kids they have a voice. I am not sure their ages but maybe get them to diaries so they can express their personal feelings. When my first husband (not the spath) and I separated we both did this with the kids. Sometimes they wrote things in them that neither one of us like to hear and sometimes they were just drawings and sometimes beautiful positive things. But it enabled us to find out where the kids were at and to help them when they were struggling with some emotions. I suggest that you do this on your own with the kids but as you said like myself I had no proof of violence and this could also be a way to document if things happen. It will also keep the communication open with your kids with you and you can discuss how they are feeling because the worse thing that happens with fear is you shut down and if a parent is sociopathic they need to have the ability to process there feelings and feel they can express themselves. Anyway it is just an idea. In the beginning I couldn’t fight my ex in court because he transferred all our assets in to friends names, I had nothing not even a car until my parents stood in to make it right. At the moment you feel like everyone is against you, because very few people truly understand what you are actually dealing with. I hope in time it all works out in your favor. One thing I did learn say as little as you can and dont write anything to anyone unless it is absolutely necessary because these things can have a knack of turning around and biting you on the butt. Sociopaths always show there true colors and a saying I love “dont argue with idiots, they bring you down to their level and beat you at experience”. Stay strong and hope things improve for you very soon!


Just take it day-by-day, getting free of the spath. I know it is hard, having an ex who would love for me to carry all the financial obligations. I have good days and bad days – spaths have a way of creating mental torture for all of us. Anyway, I hope that your situation improves, knowing that you’d like to get on with your life.

Send it in an e mail to Donna and ask her to forward your email to me.

Superkid, delete the above e mail, there are trolls that scoop them up off of boards.


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