A Queensland man accused of encouraging his wife to take her own life claimed she forbid him from trying to stop her, a court has heard.
Graham Robert Morant, 69, has pleaded not guilty to aiding and counselling Jennifer Morant to kill herself on the Gold Coast in 2014 as he stood beneficiary to her $1.4 million life insurance.
He told Ms Morant he wanted to use the money to quit work and build a religious commune as a haven from the biblical rapture where he would be pastor, the prosecution has alleged.
Morant allegedly kept up his efforts convincing her to take her life, including telling her the insurance money would help their church, for months until she did so in November 2014.
But Morant told police Jennifer did not want to continue suffering chronic back pain, for which she was taking 23 pills a night, and had attempted to kill herself three times previous.
He said he tried to talk her out of it but became desensitised to her attempts.
"I had such a zest and zeal to live. She had such a zest and zeal to die," Morant told police in an interview played in Brisbane Supreme Court on Thursday.
"These were just hiccups. That's horrendous, but she that's just what she wanted to do.
"She actually forbid me from stopping her taking her life."
But Morant also lamented Jennifer's extravagant spending, saying she had a "gift for spending money".
The trial continues.
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Australian Associated Press