News ID: 233694
Published: 1028 GMT November 02, 2018

Australian who encouraged wife's suicide jailed in landmark case

Australian who encouraged wife's suicide jailed in landmark case

An Australian man was sentenced to 10 years in jail for encouraging his wife's suicide, in a case believed to have set a global precedent.

Graham Morant, 68, was convicted last month of counselling and aiding his wife, Jennifer Morant, to take her own life in 2014, BBC wrote.

He had been motivated by a desire to access Morant's life insurance benefits, a judge ruled.

As sole beneficiary, Morant had stood to receive A$1.4 million (£770,000; $1 million).

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

Morant had suffered from chronic pain, depression and anxiety, but was not terminally ill.

Davis said it appeared to be the first time globally that a person had been sentenced for counseling someone to die by suicide.


'Took advantage of her vulnerability'


Morant had pleaded not guilty to the charges, but a jury found that Morant would not have ended her life without his counseling.

The 56-year-old woman was found dead alongside a petrol generator in her car on November 30, 2014.

Nearby, a note read: "Please don't resuscitate me."

Her husband had previously driven her to a hardware store to buy the generator, the jury was told.

Morant, a devout Christian, had told his wife that he planned to use the insurance money to build a religious commune, according to prosecutors.

On Friday, Davis said Morant had shown no remorse for his offenses.

"You took advantage of her vulnerability as a sick and depressed woman," he said.

Morant received a maximum 10-year sentence for the charge of counseling suicide, and a six-year sentence for the charge of aiding suicide. The sentences will be served concurrently.

He will be eligible for parole in October 2023.



Resource: BBC
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