A gavel is seen in a hearing room in Panama City April 7, 2016. court judge hammer
A gavel is seen in a hearing room in Panama City April 7, 2016. Reuters/Carlos Jasso

A husband who stood to receive $1.4 million from his wife’s life insurance policy has been found guilty of aiding her suicide. A Queensland Supreme Court has found that Graham Morant, 69, counselled and aided Jennifer Morant, 56, to kill herself in 2014.

The court heard that Mrs Morant suffered from chronic back pain, depression and anxiety. She was found dead by police in the driver’s seat of her car on Nov. 30, 2014, with a note saying, “please don’t resuscitate me.” She also told her best friend, Judy Dent, a week before her death that she would “kill myself and Graham will be helping.”

Investigators said Morant had previously driven her to a hardware store to buy a petrol generator, which was seen in the boot of her car. The court also heard that he had told his wife that he would the money form her life insurance to build a religious commune in Gold Coast.

He initially told police that he had no involvement in Mrs Morant’s suicide, but his story changed upon learning of a CCTV footage of his visit to the hardware store.

“Slowly, very slowly, over the course of the next hour of the accused explained he did assist his wife in her suicide,” Crown prosecutor Michael Lebanese told the court (via the ABC).

He has always maintained his innocence. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 19.

The court was also told that in Australia, the conviction of counselling a person to die by suicide did not appear to have a precedent.

“The range is naught to life, and the different levels of criminality in these particular offences are limitless,” Justice Peter Davis said.

Prof Ben White, a law expert at Queensland University of Technology, told the BBC that convictions on assisted suicide of any kind were “very rare” in the country.