Sunday 22 September 2019

Man who aided wife's suicide jailed in landmark case

Graham Morant, 68, was convicted last month of encouraging Jennifer Morant's suicide in 2014.
Graham Morant, 68, was convicted last month of encouraging Jennifer Morant's suicide in 2014.
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

An Australian man has been sentenced to 10 years in jail for counselling and aiding his wife to take her own life, in a case thought to have set a global precedent.

Graham Morant, 68, was convicted last month of encouraging Jennifer Morant's suicide in 2014.

The judge in the case ruled he did it in order to access his wife's life insurance benefits, as he stood to receive A$1.4m (€633,805; $1m) upon her death.

"You counselled your wife to kill herself because you wanted to get your hands on the A$1.4m," Justice Peter Davis said in the Queensland Supreme Court on Friday.

Mrs Morant had suffered from chronic pain, depression and anxiety, but was not dying.

Justice Davis said it appeared to be the first time anywhere in the world that a person had been sentenced for counselling someone to take their own life.

His wife (56) was found dead in her car beside a petrol generator on 30 November, 2014.

Beside her was a note that read: "Please don't resuscitate me."

The jury heard that Mr Morant had previously driven her to a hardware store to buy the generator.

Mr Morant pleaded not guilty, but a jury found that his wife would not have taken her life without his encouragement.

For the charge of counselling suicide, Mr Morant received a maximum 10-year sentence and for the charge of aiding suicide, he got a six-year sentence. They will be served concurrently.

Online Editors

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News