Wife’s death: ‘I didn’t want her in my face’
A MAN charged with his wife's murder has told a court that his wife died after he pushed her, she fell and the back of her head or neck hit a bed post.
Edmund Ian Riggs, known as Ian, has pleaded not guilty to murdering his wife, Patricia Riggs, 34, in their Margate home, north of Brisbane, on September 30, 2001. He has pleaded guilty to interfering with her corpse.
Riggs said after seeing his wife convulsing he did nothing, but after checking her vital signs and realising she was dead he thought: "I've killed her, I've killed her".
Riggs said he and his wife had been arguing in their bedroom, she had spat in his face and he pushed her back with both hands.
"I just pushed her. I didn't want her in my space, in my face," Riggs told the Supreme Court.
Riggs said after Tricia's head hit the bed post, and she fell to the floor, she started convulsing, but he did nothing.
"I was just in shock," he said.
Riggs said he checked her and there was no pulse and she was not breathing and he felt behind her head and there was blood.
"She was dead," he said.
"My brain just exploded."
Riggs said he picked his wife's body up and put it on their bed.
He said he thought: "I've killed her. I've killed her."
"I had to get her out, out of the house. I'd killed her.
"I'd be going to jail for the rest of my life. I had four kids, they'd lost their mum. I didn't want them to lose me as well."
He said he feared his children would be orphans if he went to jail for life.
Riggs said he wrapped his wife's body in a rug, put it in the boot of his car and drove to bush near Morayfield, where he dug a hole and buried her.
After returning home he cleaned up the bedroom, wiping down the bed post with disinfectant and water.
When asked by defence counsel, Lars Falcongreen, why he did not go to police, Riggs said: "After I moved Trish nobody would believe me … I certainly didn't want to go to jail."
Riggs said two to three years later he drove to the area where he had buried his wife and saw excavators.
"I just panicked, oh crikey, if they find her bones," he said.
He went back that night and searched for a couple of hours before finding his wife's bones.
"When I found the skull it just blew me out," Riggs said.
He said the next morning he told his four children that he and their mother had had a fight and she had walked out, to get away for a bit.
When asked why he made a missing person's report, and called family and friends asking if they knew where she was he said: "Just continuing with the deception".
THE NIGHT MAN FOUND HUMAN BONES IN BACKYARD
A MARGATE man has told a court how he dug up the bones of a woman, whose husband is now on trial for her murder, in his backyard three years ago.
Edmund Ian Riggs, known as Ian, has denied murdering his wife, Patricia Riggs, 34, in their Margate home on September 30, 2001, but has pleaded guilty to interfering with her corpse.
Riggs removed his wife's body and buried it somewhere else and then buried her skeletal remains back at his Margate property at a later date.
Craig Dicker, who bought the house, on Janet St at Margate, from Ian Riggs in November, 2007, said he was concreting behind a shed, while building a retaining wall on August 21, 2016.
Mr Dicker said after lifting old pavers he saw what looked like builder's paper underneath and he dug down and tried to grab it.
"I hit it with the shovel and it split open and a bit of bone sort of spilled out in the air and landed to the side," Mr Dicker told the Supreme Court.
He said he picked up a bone and, "knowing the past of the house", showed it to his wife, saying: "I think this is a piece of bone".
Mr Dicker said he walked back to where he had been digging.
"Because I'd dug down the side of the blue tarp, I put my hand on the side of it and it felt like I could feel bigger bones," Mr Dicker said.
"I said to my wife 'Call the police'."
Sergeant Carl Streeter told the Supreme Court when he saw the bones in the back yard they were wrapped in a child's wading pool liner.
Detective Sergeant Nathan McCormack said there had been further investigations at 3 Janet St, Margate after 2001.
He said a ground penetrating radar had been used to examine a concrete slab in the laundry in 2012.
The slab was excavated and searched underneath in /013, but nothing was found.