Jury retires to consider Riggs verdict
THE jury in the trial of a man charged with murdering his wife of 17 years has retired to consider its verdict.
Edmund Ian Riggs, 59, has pleaded not guilty to murdering his wife Patricia, 34, the mother of their four children, at their home at Margate north of Brisbane on Sunday, September 30, 2001.
At the start of the trial, Riggs pleaded guilty to interfering with his wife's corpse, burying her body elsewhere on that night.
Justice Peter Flanagan said the Crown had to prove, beyond reasonable doubt, that Riggs unlawfully killed his wife, intending to cause her death or grievous bodily harm.
Justice Flanagan said if they found Riggs not guilty of murder, the jurors then had to decide if he was guilty or not guilty of manslaughter.
Defence counsel Lars Falcongreen raised the murder defences of prevention of repetition of an insult, accident and self defence.
Crown prosecutor Todd Fuller QC told the jury they should not accept Riggs's evidence about how his wife was killed, because of his lies and conduct after her death.
Three days after she was killed, Riggs reported her missing, telling police they had argued on the previous Sunday night and she had walked out, taking only her phone, a credit card and trainers.
Mrs Riggs was due to start a new job as a swimming instructor the day after she died.
In 2016, Tricia Riggs's partial remains were found in the back yard of the Margate home by one of the new owners, while digging to build a retaining wall.
Riggs told the Supreme Court that during a late-night argument Tricia had spat in his face, he pushed her, she hit her head on a bottom bedpost, fell to the floor convulsing and died within a minute.
Although he knew CPR, Riggs said he did nothing because he was in shock, and after realising she was dead her laid her on the bed and wrapped her in bedding.
Riggs said he felt like his brain had exploded.
Riggs said he put her body in the boot of his car, where he already had a spade, drove to bush near Morayfield, north of Brisbane and buried her in a shallow grave.
The jury of eight men and four women retired at 12.10pm on the seventh day of the trial.