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. Motorists are being urged to drive to the conditions and be patient, as thousands of holidaymakers get ready to head home after the school holidays. Travellers are being urged to plan ahead, stay calm and not take any undue risks, following what has been a horrific week of tragedy on the roads that saw three die in a Southland crash last Sunday and four others north of Taupo on Tuesday. The deaths have pushed the annual road toll to 297, among the highest in the last five years, compared to just 254 the same time last year. Broadcaster Sean Plunket has resigned from the board of the Broadcasting Standards Authority after making controversial remarks on social media. Plunket said in a statement yesterday: “In the interests of the smooth running of the Broadcasting Standards Authority I have chosen to resign my position as a member of the BSA board.” Plunket came under fire after he tweeted “Anyone else feeling for Harvey Weinstein?” He later said it was a “little social experiment”, then condemned Hollywood producer Weinstein, who is embroiled in a sex scandal. New Zealander Armstrong Renata has been jailed for seven years after king- hitting a young Queensland man. Renata, 23, admitted a charge of unlawful striking causing death over the January 2016 assault. He will serve 80 per cent of the term before he can apply for parole. Justice Helen Bowskill described the Brisbane incident as “cowardly and violent” and said his actions stole the life of a young man and “destroyed” those of his family and close friends. Tens of thousands of jellyfish- like creatures have washed up on Greymouth beaches, surprising even the Department of Conservation with the scale. DoC says the rotting mass are by- the- wind- sailors, also called Velella. The huge mass was giving off a strong smell. DoC marine expert Don Neale said by- the- wind- sailors were related to jellyfish and “bluebottles”, which also often washed up on beaches. Police are appealing for help in their hunt for an armed man who robbed a bar and fled on foot. The man held up Vinos Bar in Rosedale on Auckland’s North Shore on Thursday at 6.45pm. Police say he threatened patrons and assaulted a female worker. Detective Sergeant Nick Salter said someone may have seen the man as he headed south along William Pickering Dr. Police last night found an elderly Wellington man, who went missing on Thursday. Graham Penny, 66, who has dementia, was found safe and well not far from his rest home. However in Dunedin, police are still searching for Gordon Mclean, 63, who has not been since 3pm on Thursday. He is frail and police have serious concerns for his welfare. Licensed Auckland supermarkets and bottle stores would be able to sell alcohol for up to two more hours each day under a new plan. The Auckland Council scheme would allow sales from 7am to 9pm, after an opening time of 9am was ruled “unreasonable” by the Alcohol Regulatory and Licensing Authority after appeals.
Susan Mouat says she pushed her husband in self defence after he came home drunk. Drivers urged to be patient Plunket quits BSA role Kiwi jailed for king- hit Jellyfish- like creatures on beach
Bruce Mouat’s family say the sentencing gives them some closure but won’t bring him back.