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Hubby's Help in Wife's Suicide Brings First-of-Its-Kind Ruling

Graham Morant sentenced to 10 years in prison in Australia
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 2, 2018 9:48 AM CDT
Graham Morant leaves the Supreme Court in Brisbane on Sept. 27, 2018.   (Darren England/AAP Image via AP)

(Newser) – An Australian man who encouraged his wife's suicide has been handed up to 10 years in prison in what's reported to be a first-of-its-kind sentence. Graham Morant was last month convicted of counselling and aiding Jennifer Morant's November 2014 suicide, with Justice Peter Davis noting the devout Christian and self-styled preacher stood to gain $1 million as sole beneficiary of three life insurance policies, report ABC Australia and the AP. "You took advantage of her vulnerability as a sick and depressed woman … because you wanted to get your hands on the [money]," Davis said Friday in Queensland Supreme Court, where he applied the maximum 10-year sentence for counselling suicide, to be served with a six-year sentence for assisting in the death, per the BBC.

Jennifer Morant suffered chronic pain, depression, and anxiety but wasn't terminally ill when she was found dead in her car at her Gold Coast home with a gas generator and a note reading, "Please don't resuscitate me." Prosecutors later said her husband had taken the 56-year-old to buy the generator at a hardware store and had told her he would use the insurance payout to build a religious commune in the Gold Coast hinterland. ABC Australia describes it as "a haven from the biblical rapture" complete with bunkers. Davis—who referred to the sentence as the world's first for counselling suicide—stressed that Morant hadn't shown remorse, reports the Guardian. The 69-year-old will be eligible for parole beginning in 2023. (This suspected suicide turned out to be murder.)

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