Wife on hus­band’s death: Keep­ing up lie has made me ill

Tran­script re­veals de­tails of con­fes­sion to po­lice

Weekend Herald - - NEWS - Kelly Den­nett

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.

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