Graham Morant has been found guilty of counselling and aiding his wife to kill herself. Picture: AAP Image/Darren England
Graham Morant has been found guilty of counselling and aiding his wife to kill herself. Picture: AAP Image/Darren England

Husband guilty of aiding wife’s suicide

A MAN who stood to receive $1.4 million from his wife's life insurance has been found guilty of counselling and aiding her to kill herself.

A Supreme Court jury, which began deliberating on Friday morning, returned two guilty verdicts just before 12.15pm today.

Jennifer Morant, 56, who suffered from chronic back pain, was found dead in her car on November 30, 2014, in a cul-de-sac at Wongawallen, Mount Tamborine.

Her husband, Graham Robert Morant, a born-again Christian builder, was the sole beneficiary of his wife's $1.4 million in life insurance at the time of her death.

Morant called triple-0 after coming home on November 30, 2014, to find a note from his wife, telling the operator it looked like she had gone off to "do herself harm".

Morant, 69, was charged with counselling his wife, 56, to kill herself, thereby inducing her to do so, between February 1 and December 1, 2014, and aiding her suicide, on November 29, 2014.

Graham Morant has been found guilty of counselling and aiding his wife to kill herself. Picture: AAP Image/Darren England
Graham Morant has been found guilty of counselling and aiding his wife to kill herself. Picture: AAP Image/Darren England

He pleaded not guilty to both charges and denied helping his wife kill herself.

Mrs Morant, who was found to have gassed herself in her car, had suffered from chronic back pain but did not have a terminal illness, her doctor told the court.

The Crown case was that Morant aided his wife's suicide by driving her to a hardware store and helping her load a generator that she used to kill herself.

Morant admitted to police that his wife had told him that she was going to use a generator to commit suicide.

He told police he knew when he went to church the next day, leaving his wife at home, with the generator in her car, there was an "off chance'' of her killing herself.

Earlier, in the three-hour interview with police, five weeks after his wife's death, Morant had denied knowing anything about the generator his wife had used.

Mrs Morant's sister, Lynette Lucas, told the court Jenny told her that Graham wanted her to kill herself so he could get $1.4 million from her life insurance.

Mrs Lucas said Jenny told her she feared for her life and said Graham had encouraged her to take out the life insurance policies.

 

Jenny Morant, who committed suicide in 2014.
Jenny Morant, who committed suicide in 2014.

She said Jenny told her: "It's all about the money with Graham".

Mrs Lucas said Jenny told her Graham had taken her to see a property he wanted to buy with the insurance money, as a safe commune " for when the raptures and Armegeddon came".

"She said she didn't believe it would be a sin in God's eyes to commit suicide because she would be doing something good for the church and helping him," Mrs Lucas said.

Jenny Morant's best friend, Johanna "Judy" Dent, said Mrs Morant told her Graham knew a way she could kill herself without feeling any pain.

She said a week before her death, while visiting her in NSW, Mrs Morant said: "Now when I go back, I have to do it. I have to kill myself and Graham will be helping".

Ms Dent said when Morant told her about Jenny gassing herself and she asked if he had helped, he said "no" and that she had watched a lot of CSI crime shows.

The jury was shown a form, signed by Graham and Jenny Morant in July, 2014, which said: "Jenny has been diagnosed with a life-threatening illness".

The deed of "irrevocable nomination" said Mrs Morant had nominated Graham as the sole beneficiary of her life insurance policies, valued at $1.4 million.

Opening the Crown case, prosecutor Michael Lehane said there were "1.4 million reasons" why Graham Robert Morant intentionally aided his wife to kill herself.

Justice Peter Davis said the charges were serious and the imposition of a custodial sentence was inevitable, although there could be arguments in favour of a wholly or partially suspended sentence.

The judge said the jury concluded that, but for the counselling by Morant, Mrs Morant would not have ended her life.

The jury must also have been satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that when Morant aided his wife to commit suicide, he had that intent.

Justice Davis said the counselling and aiding suicide offences could be committed in an infinite number of different ways.

There were also infinite different levels of criminality and intent.

Morant was remanded in custody and will be sentenced by Justice Peter Davis on October 19.



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