Man denies assisting wife’s suicide for $1.4m
WARNING: Distressing content
A Queensland woman was "horrified" by her husband's plans to build a religious commune before he allegedly convinced her to kill herself, a court has heard.
Graham Robert Morant, 69, has pleaded not guilty to aiding in the suicide of Jennifer Morant and counselling her to do so on the Gold Coast in 2014.
Morant, an aspiring pastor, allegedly told his wife her suicide would not be a sin in God's eyes, her sister Lynette Lucas told his Brisbane Supreme Court trial.
Morant wanted to buy a property in the Gold Coast hinterland with Jennifer's life insurance, worth $1.4 million, to start a religious commune to prepare for biblical rapture, Ms Lucas testified.
"He had explained to her that he was going to have a communal environment, with bunkers and extended out-buildings so that when the raptures came, they would have a place of safety," she said.
"He was quite adamant he was going ahead with it ... (he said) she'd be doing something good for the church and helping him.
"He did reinforce they (the raptures) were very imminent. They were coming soon and Jenny would not be able to cope with this disaster and it would be better if she weren't around to experience it.
"Jenny was horrified that he had all these plans. She said she didn't want to be part of the communal environment."
Morant claimed he found a suicide note after coming home one night in November 2014.
The note explained Jennifer didn't want to be a burden on anyone, especially her husband, and it would not be fair on him to care for her "24 hours a day".
She had chronic back pain and took pain relief medication, the court heard.
"Please believe it is my choice to do this and there is no one to blame," the note read, according to crown prosecutor Michael Lehane.
Police found Jennifer, 56, dead in her car with a petrol generator.
Prosecutors allege Morant helped his wife buy the generator and assisted putting it in the boot of her car.
Morant said she tried to kill herself at least twice previously, the prosecution says.
Ms Lucas told the court her sister was "fearful for her life".
"(I told her) your life's in danger with these (life insurance) policies," she said.
Morant pleaded not guilty on Monday to aiding in the suicide of Jennifer and counselling her to do so.
Asked by police if he helped in her suicide, Morant said he didn't and she knew how to take her own life because she watched a lot of the US television show Crime Scene Investigation.
Jennifer was in "intense daily pain", defence barrister Dean Wells said.
"I suggest to you Graham is more innocent than anybody you will hear giving evidence against him," Mr Wells said.
"Truth is stranger than fiction. There are ... more subplots in this particular case than you will ever see in any courtroom drama on television."
The trial continues.
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