A terrified nanny found her employer stabbed to death on the bathroom floor after hearing her whining faintly in the middle of the night, a Sydney jury has been told.
"The bathroom light was not on, but I realised that she was not moving, not breathing," said Lai Chan Chor in a 1990 police statement read out in the NSW Supreme Court on Monday.
Restaurateur Mark Caleo, 55, has pleaded not guilty to soliciting the murder of his wife, Rita Caleo, 39, who was stabbed 23 times in August 1990 at their Double Bay townhouse in the city's eastern suburbs.
He also denies soliciting the murder of her brother, Dr Michael Chye, who was shot in the head as he drove into his Woollahra home in October 1989.
Alani Afu, 51, has pleaded not guilty to murdering Ms Caleo.
The Crown alleges Caleo felt he was being ripped off by his wife and his brother-in-law.
She was stabbed to death two days after the NSW government announced a $50,000 reward for information leading to the doctor's killer.
Ms Chor said the Caleo marriage had seemed "very comfortable" but in the last month before her death, they argued all the time.
About 1.30am on August 10, she was woken by a "shuttering" sound and could feel the vibration, before hearing the whine.
"I became very scared and stayed in bed," she said.
A short time later Ms Chor heard a door close and after a few minutes got up to investigate.
She saw that Ms Caleo's bedroom door was open, but there was no answer when she called out her name.
She then looked into the bathroom and saw Ms Caleo lying on the floor.
Under cross-examination from Afu's lawyer, Richard Wilson, Detective Senior Constable Tamer Kilani stood by his belief that key crown witness Anthony Stambolis had told the truth about his former boss Caleo.
Mr Stambolis informed him that Caleo told him to offer $10,000 to find someone to kill his wife, to make it look like a "robbery gone wrong" and that he found a man who he referred to as "the Tongan" willing to do the job.
While Mr Stambolis had lied when he said Caleo's brother was in the car at one stage, the detective said he believed him when he said it was Mr Stambolis and the Tongan who drove to the home.
"You didn't investigate the story in light of that dramatic change?" Mr Wilson asked.
"No. The way he told us on the day was really traumatic.
"He fell to the ground and I had to give him first aid," Det Const Kilani said.
"It was a huge thing he said after all these years."
He agreed Mr Stambolis never used the words "Alani Afu" but always said "The Tongan" or the "Tongan male".
The trial is continuing.