Wife on husband’s death: Keeping up lie has made me ill
Transcript reveals details of confession to police
A woman who pushed her husband to his death told police her lies had made her “very unwell”, according to a transcript of her confession.
Six years after Bruce Mouat’s death, Susan Elizabeth Mouat was yesterday sentenced to 11 months home detention, having admitted the manslaughter of her husband Bruce Mouat on the first day of her September trial.
Mouat suffered critical head injuries after falling down a set of steps outside the Hawera home he shared with her in July 2011 and later died in hospital.
She repeatedly told detectives he had come home drunk and she was in bed when she heard him fall outside. A police investigation was closed without charges being laid, and a Coroner ruled his fall was accidental.
However suspicious friends and family reported to police that she had made a number of admissions that suggested she was involved in his death, including an alleged comment to her sister- in- law at Mouat’s funeral: “How does it feel to hug a murderer?”
She told the Coroner the comment was “black humour”, however Bruce Mouat’s family, including his son, have said they always believed she wasn’t telling the truth about the circumstances.
Susan Mouat’s lawyer Russell Fairbrother QC didn’t return calls this week, but documents released to the Weekend Herald reveal for the first time her explanation of the events of that night.
According to a transcript of her confession to police — given after she was arrested and charged with manslaughter in October last year — she said she pushed Bruce Mouat in “self defence” and admitted she had lied.
“I’d just like . . . this to be over and to say that . . . the night Bruce died, previous to this I maintained that I had nothing to do with his death, but on the night that Bruce died . . . I had pushed him in a form of self defence because he was excessively drunk and I asked him to leave and that push resulted in his falling down the stairs and hitting his head which then resulted in his death,” the transcript of her interview reads.
“I have been very unwell as a result of trying to keep that lie. I just wish for it now to be over and I’m ready. Please God everything will just be as it’s meant to, so that’s all I’d like to say.”
She explained that she thought Mouat was cutting back on his drinking, and was “disappointed” and “really angry” that he was drunk. She alleged he was being “abusive and nasty”.
“I was disgusted in the whole history of our relationship and I, I’ve had enough really.”
She said he stumbled down the hallway and left through the front door but attempted to re- enter the home.
“I couldn’t stand it and I just, with one hand, opened the door and then I pushed him away. I said, ‘ f — off ’ and . . . that’s when he fell . . . he must have fallen with such force [ and] like I pulled myself together I suppose and I just said, ‘ stay there . . .’, and then I thought, oh God.”’
Her only intention with the push was to get him to leave, she told police.
The couple had been together for a decade and according to a summary of facts, Bruce Mouat had applied for a protection order against her in 2006, but they married three years later.
In two interviews with police in 2011 she denied involvement in her husband’s death. She repeated her denial at an interview years later, in August 2016.
In October last year, she admitted to police what had happened.
Spokesman Simon Harrison said the family was disappointed with the sentence. “Clearly we knew that the sentence wasn’t going to bring Bruce back after six long years [ and] the family respects the parameters with which the Justice has to sentence.
“This sentencing now gives us some form of closure but obviously we have to live with Bruce’s death forever. He’ll never be forgotten.”
Asked if he believed Susan Mouat was remorseful, Harrison replied: “I accept that’s what she said, and we’ll probably just leave it at that.”
Justice Peter Churchman imposed three conditions on Mouat’s sentence to help her deal with her alcohol addiction.
Susan Mouat says she pushed her husband in self defence after he came home drunk.
Bruce Mouat’s family say the sentencing gives them some closure but won’t bring him back.