Australian man jailed for persuading wife to kill herself

Jennifer Morant died in 2014. /BBC

The pair lived on Australia's Gold Coast.

While people have been convicted before of helping someone to suicide, usually in mercy killings, Justice Peter Davis said no one had been convicted in Australia before of persuading someone who would not otherwise have taken his or her own life to suicide.

He had been motivated by a desire to access Mrs Morant's life insurance benefits, a judge ruled.

The 56-year-old woman was found dead alongside a petrol generator in her auto on 30 November, 2014.

Jennifer Morant, who had chronic back pain as well as anxiety and depression, was found dead in her auto in 2014, with a gas-powered generator and a note requesting no resuscitation.

A husband hoping to get his hands on a $1.4 million-dollar life insurance windfall has been sentenced to 10 years in jail.

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Lynette Lucas, Mrs Morant's sister, said after the sentencing: "Jenny came to me and I really did try to help Jenny and unfortunately we feel that we might have failed her a little bit but this is at least some sort of closure for her and some sort of peace".

During that time Morant allegedly told his wife that she would be too weak to survive the biblical rapture and that her suicide would not be a sin in god's eyes because of the financial windfall to his pastor aspirations.

According to prosecutors, Morant had told his wife that he planned to use the insurance payout to build a religious commune in the Gold Coast hinterland.

Justice Davis said Morant had shown no remorse for his actions, and his wife had died in a lonely place in November 2014.

As well as his 10-year sentence, he received an additional six years for aiding suicide, to be served concurrently.

He will be eligible to apply for parole on Oct 23, 2023.

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