Allyson McConnell, convicted of drowning her young sons in a bathtub in Canada, was concerned about next month’s appeal lodged by Alberta prosecutors that could have led to her extradition from Australia to serve extra jail time.
McConnell’s body was reportedly found under a bridge on Wednesday near her home on the NSW Central Coast.
NSW police were yet to confirm the body was the 34-year-old’s, but Peter Royal, the Canadian lawyer who represented McConnell at her trial in Alberta last year said he spoke with McConnell’s mother early on Wednesday morning.
He told Canada’s CBC News there was little doubt the body was McConnell’s as identification papers were found with it.
Royal also said next month’s appeal was weighing on McConnell’s mind.
“I won’t ever forget the evidence she gave in court,” Royal said.
“It was very moving and upsetting. She didn’t see any future and believed she would continue to try to kill herself.”
McConnell had made numerous attempts on her her life, including jumping off a freeway overpass in Alberta in 2010 just hours after drowning her sons, two-year-old Connor and 10-month-old Jayden, in the family home.
At her non-jury trial in Wetaskiwin, a judge found McConnell guilty of manslaughter, not second-degree murder, and sentenced her to six years jail.
With time served credits, she spent just 10 months in the psychiatric ward of Alberta Hospital before being deported to Australia.
McConnell’s former husband, Curtis McConnell, was outraged she received such little jail time and an appeal of the conviction and sentence was scheduled to be heard next month.
Alberta Justice Minister Jonathan Denis had said if prosecutors were successful in increasing McConnell’s sentence via the appeal, the province would attempt to extradite her from Australia to serve any extra jail time.
Ronalee McConnell, Curtis’ sister, issued a brief statement on Wednesday.
“Our thoughts are with Allyson’s family and we send our condolences,” she wrote.
McConnell was working at a Canadian ski resort in 2006 when she met her future husband. They married, lived in Millet, Alberta, about 40km south of Edmonton, and had their two sons, but the relationship deteriorated.
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