By Alex Schadenberg, Executive Director – Euthanasia Prevention Coalition
The Supreme Court in Brisbane, Australia, is hearing the case of Graham Robert Morant (69) who has been charged for assisting the suicide of his wife Jennifer Morant (58) in 2014.
According to prosecutors, Morant encouraged and assisted his wife Jennifer, to die by suicide. In return he received 1.4 million dollars in Life Insurance.
Prosecutor Michael Lehane said the jury would hear from a number of witnesses, including Mrs . Morant’s sister and closest friends who would testify that he encouraged his wife to end her life, and assisted her to gas herself in her car in November 2014 by helping her buy the petrol [gas] generator.
Prosecutor Lehane said Mr. Morant initially told police in his interview that he had no involvement whatsoever in his wife’s suicide, but when officers questioned him about how a woman with back pain could purchase a generator from Bunnings, his story changed.
“Slowly, very slowly over the course of the next hour the accused explained he did assist his wife in her suicide,” he said.
The court heard Mr. Morant claimed he did not know the details of three life insurance policies Mrs. Morant had taken out to the value of $1.4 million, which named him as the sole beneficiary and would be paid out even in the event of suicide.
The court heard Mr. Morant later admitted to police he was aware his wife wanted to go to Peru to end her life, and they had signed an irrevocable nomination banning her from changing him as sole beneficiary.
The document claimed Mrs. Morant had been diagnosed with a terminal illness, but Mr. Lehane said her general practitioner would testify during the trial that she was not fatally sick.
The ABC News article reported that the sister of Jennifer Morant stated that Jennifer wanted to leave her husband and that it was all about money for her. The article stated:
She (her sister) said Mrs. Morant expressed serious concerns for her safety, that her life was in danger and her husband openly spoke about what he would do with the money when she died.
“She said Graham had encouraged her to take them [insurance policies] out,” Ms. Lucas told the court.
“Jenny said, ‘he was trying to encourage me to kill myself’.”
The defense attorney told the jury, in a short statement, to keep an open mind. He said that in this case the truth is stranger than fiction.
The case will continue.
Editor’s note. This appeared on Mr. Schadenberg’s blog and is reposted with permission.