November 2, 2018
Husband who aided wife’s suicide sentenced to 10 years in prison
A man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for encouraging and helping his wife to kill herself, so he could access her $1.4 million life insurance.
Graham Robert Morant was found guilty last month of persuading his wife Jennifer Morant to kill herself in her car and helping her buy the necessary equipment from a hardware store.
The court heard Morant was the sole beneficiary of Ms Morant’s three life insurance policies, which Justice Peter Davis concluded was the motivation for his actions.
“You took advantage of her vulnerability as a sick and depressed woman,” Justice Davis said during sentencing.
“You counselled your wife to kill herself because you wanted to get your hands on the $1.4 million.”
With the money, Morant planned to build a religious commune with bunkers in the Gold Coast hinterland as a haven from the biblical rapture.
Justice Davis said it was obvious that as of 2014 Morant was not a wealthy person, had a small amount of money, no superannuation, and credit card debts.
“Your general financial position was such that $1.4 million was a very significant sum as it would be to most people,” he said.
“You have not shown any remorse for the offences you have committed.
“You did not plead guilty and you did not cooperate with the administration of justice.”
Justice Davis said there had been no conviction in Queensland for the counselling suicide charge and research had also failed to find a conviction for a similar offence in another jurisdiction.
Jennifer Morant, 56, took her own life in 2014.
Ms Morant’s family cried as the court sentenced Morant to 10 years in jail for the counselling charge, and six years for the charge of aiding suicide.
Ms Morant, who suffered from chronic back pain, depression and anxiety, was found dead in her car by police in 2014, with the doors closed and a note saying “please don’t resuscitate me”.
Morant will be eligible to apply for parole on October 23, 2023.
Karyn Walsh from the support group Micah Projects, which helps victims of domestic violence, said psychological abuse and control was a big problem.
While unable to talk about the specific case, Ms Walsh said the issue went hand in hand with other forms of abuse.
“It is the control of someone’s freedom and liberty of choices and it is integral to most circumstances of domestic violence,” Ms Walsh said.
* Far from being a situation of spousal abuse, Exit can say that Jenny Morant was a dedicated member of Exit and a subscriber to the Peaceful Pill eHandbook.
In 2014, Jenny wrote to Exit:
“I desperately need your help, to assist me to end my life in a peaceful manner. I am in chronic pain for the past 3 years now, with Spinal Surgery not giving me any relief, in August 2011, I fractured my spine from Osteo Perosis, and I had 3 rods, 2 plates and cement injected into my spine, but the operation was not a success and now I am having to take large amounts on a daily basis of Oxycontin, Endone, Tramadal, Stemetil, Maxolon, Panadol Osteo, but most days I do not get out of bed because the pain and the nausea is so bad, if I can manage to get up, I am back in bed by 4PM, propped up with Pillows, so i can eat a little amount of food, but the past 4 months I have had such severe nausea i could not eat at all, & also with the large amounts of Oxycontin I have to take the side effects are terrible.”