Most read: Man told wife she was too weak to survive biblical rapture in plot to get her life insurance, court hears

This story was first published on Monday September 17.


A Queensland man accused of assisting his wife take her own life as he was the beneficiary of her $1.4 million life insurance told her she was too weak to survive the biblical rapture, a court has heard.

Jennifer Morant died on the Gold Coast in 2014 after her husband Graham Robert Morant, 69, allegedly repeatedly told her her suicide would not be a sin in God's eyes because of the financial windfall to his pastor aspirations.

Morant wanted to buy a property in the Gold Coast hinterland with the life insurance money to start a religious commune, Jennifer Morant's sister Lynette Lucas has told a jury.

"He had explained to her that he was going to have a communal environment, with bunkers and extended out-buildings so that when the raptures came, they would have a place of safety," Ms Lucas has testified in Brisbane Supreme Court.

"He was quite adamant he was going ahead with it ... (he said) she'd be doing something good for the church and helping him.

"He did reinforce they (the raptures) were very imminent. They were coming soon and Jenny would not be able to cope with this disaster and it would be better if she weren't around to experience it."

Jennifer was "horrified" by the plans and wanted no part of them, Ms Lucas said.

Morant pleaded not guilty today to aiding in the suicide of Jennifer and counselling her to do so.

He claimed he found a suicide note after coming home one night in November 2014.

The note explained Jennifer didn't want to be a burden on anyone, especially her husband, and it would not be fair on him to care for her "24 hours a day".

"Please believe it is my choice to do this and and there is no one to blame," the note read, said crown prosecutor Michael Lehane.

Morant told police Jennifer suffered "a lot of back pain" and took pain relief medication. But she was "fearful for her life", Ms Lucas said.

"(I told her) your life's in danger with these (life insurance) policies," she said.

Police found Jennifer, 56, dead in her car with a petrol generator.

Prosecutors allege Morant helped his wife buy the generator and assisted putting it in the boot of her car.

Morant said she tried to kill herself at least twice previously, the prosecution says.

Asked by police if he helped in her suicide, Morant said he didn't and she knew how to take her own life because she watched a lot of the US television show Crime Scene Investigation.

Jennifer was in "intense daily pain", defence barrister Dean Wells said.

"I suggest to you Graham is more innocent than anybody you will hear giving evidence against him," Mr Wells said.

"Truth is stranger than fiction. There are ... more subplots in this particular case than you will ever see in any courtroom drama on television."

The trial continues.


Strawberry needle scare spreads to Western Australia

The strawberry scare has hit Western Australia, with police saying the state's first suspected needle contamination case has been reported.

A man informed the York Police Station in regional WA today that he found a needle in his sink after washing locally produced and packaged strawberries, and did not recall it being there beforehand.

The discovery comes after a seven-year-old Adelaide girl found a needle in a punnet of WA-grown strawberries purchased on Saturday from a Littlehampton supermarket.

Before the York case was reported, WA Health Minister Roger Cook said it was not known where the punnet bought in Adelaide was contaminated.

"It may be that this didn't take place in Western Australia at all," Mr Cook told reporters.

"In fact, the contamination may have taken place in South Australia."

Police are investigating the finds and consumers are urged to cut up strawberries before eating them.

WA's Department of Health said it was involved in the nationwide response to the incidents.

Sewing needles and pins have been deliberately placed inside strawberries across the ditch. Source: 1 NEWS


Man sexually abused from age of seven calls on Kiwis to talk 'a lot more openly' about this issue

A man who was sexually abused from the age of seven has joined calls for men to talk more openly about their experience after a group of male survivors of abuse told TVNZ1's Sunday programme opening up about their past has helped them.

Survivors also say more support is needed for male victims of abuse because while the global #Metoo movement" has drawn attention to the issue for women, many men are silently living with the trauma.  

Former police officer Geoff Cavell was sexually abused by a family member from the age of seven.

"The scab has only just been picked off this sore, so I think it's a pertinent time now that that wound has been opened up that we need to talk about it a lot more, a lot more openly," he told 1 NEWS.

"I think we really need to focus on this problem and start to deal with it in a proper way. The biggest problem is actually speaking about it and men traditionally, we haven't been very good at it."

Another survivor of abuse, Neil Sorenson, was emotional as he told Sunday: "My suggestion would be just to talk. It's amazing. It's incredible."

Jim Clemente, a child sexual exploitation expert, says the MeToo movement has brought the issue to the forefront.

"But mostly it's women who are talking about that. I believe there are just as many male victims." 

Advocates say more support is needed for men dealing with the fallout of such abuse.

"We haven't done very well into looking into the research into boys and men in New Zealand, which lets us down badly," Ken Clearwater of the Male Survivors of Sex Abuse Trust told TVNZ1's Breakfast.

The Ministry of Social Development says while it already funds services for male survivors of sex abuse it has also commissioned new research to find out which support and services works best for them. 

It's something Labour's Kelvin Davis has spoken out about. Now he's a minister, he says he is determined to do more.

"It has such a profound effect on people. As the Minister of Corrections I see it on a regular basis - men telling me about their experiences of being abused," Mr Davis said.

Geoff Cavell was sexually abused by a family member from the age of seven. Source: 1 NEWS

Seven die from suspected drug overdoses at Vietnam music festival

Seven people have died of suspected drug overdoses during a music festival in Vietnam.

The Capital Police newspaper said five other people were still in comas today after overdosing at the festival Sunday night (local time).

The music festival was held in a water park near Hanoi's city centre and attended by thousands of people.

The state-run media outlet said all the victims tested positive but it didn't identify which drug or drugs were involved. It said police had seized suspected drug substances at the scene.

Police and local officials were not available for comment today.

Government data say Vietnam has 220,000 drug addicts with police records and some 1,600 overdose deaths annually.

Methamphetamine and heroin are the most common drugs used and overdosed, with meth use rising in recent years.

Silhouettes of people in a bright in the pop rock concert in front of the stage. Hands with gesture Horns. That rocks. Party in a club
Music festival (file picture). Source: