A WOMAN standing trial for helping murder a former Qantas pilot has told a jury she travelled to Mexico to buy a euthanasia drug to help him die and to help end her own life.
Graeme Wylie, 71, died at his Sydney home in March 2006 from an overdose of barbiturate Nembutal, a widely-advocated euthanasia drug.
His partner of 18 years, Shirley Justins, is standing trial for his murder in the NSW Supreme Court, with family friend Caren Jenning being tried as an accessary before the fact.
Ms Jenning has admitted travelling to Mexico to buy the Nembutal, and today told the jury she had planned to purchase one bottle for Mr Wylie and another for herself.
The 75-year-old is terminally ill with breast cancer which has spread to her bones, and told the jury she started working with the NSW Voluntary Euthanasia Society in 1999.
Ms Jenning said she watched her mother die a "painful" death from cancer, begging to be euthanased, and it influenced her own thinking.
She joined national mercy killing group Exit International in 2003, and learned about Nembutal at workshops run in Sydney's north by the group's founder, Dr Philip Nitschke.
After Mr Wylie twice failed to kill himself and was rejected for a legally assisted death in Switzerland, Ms Jenning said she volunteered to get the drug in February 2006.
"Practically every time I called him ... he would say: 'What will I do? What can I do? I can't stand this'," Ms Jenning said, taking the stand for the first time in her own defence.
"He already knew about the Nembutal and what he said to me is: 'Are you going to be getting the stuff?'"
Ms Jenning said her nephew crushed his pelvis in a motorcycle accident in the United States in late January and she decided to "do two things at once" by flying to America.
"I (would) visit my sister and (nephew) Mark on the one hand and go over to Mexico to get some Nembutal on the other hand," she said.
"(The drug) for Graeme and for myself, I was getting worried on my own behalf."
Ms Jenning took a bus trip to Tijuana and bought the drug from a veterinary pharmacy.
She told the jury she ultimately decided to only buy one bottle because she was frightened of being caught as she crossed back into America.
Ms Jenning said she hid the bottle in her pocket during a bag search at the US border and managed to bring it back into Australia on March 17.
Ms Justins earlier admitted she knew her husband did not have the mental capacity to decide he wanted to die, and agreed she had ultimate responsibility for the decision.
But the 59-year-old said Mr Wylie was "determined" to be euthanased and knew what he wanted.
The trial continues before Justice Roderick Howie.