Jealous husband admits hitting his wife with a rock at Mt Roland

Bashed: Foresnic police conduct investigations after the murder of Kerry Michael in 2015. Picture: File.
Bashed: Foresnic police conduct investigations after the murder of Kerry Michael in 2015. Picture: File.

“I was like a deranged lunatic,” a man told police as he described killing his wife by hitting her on the head with a rock at Mt Roland in the North-West.

Detective Sergeant Paul Bryan of Burnie CIB told the Hobart Coroner’s Court on Wednesday that in a police interview Robin Michael, 63, a health executive of South Australia was unable to say how many times he had hit his wife Kerry Michael, 44, after they had argued.

Detective Sergeant Bryan said Mr Michael wrongly believed his wife was having an affair and was going to leave him.

The Michaels had been holidaying in Tasmania when Mrs Michael was killed on February 11, 2015, just days before they were due to return home.  

The inquest into Mrs Michael’s death was held on Wednesday with Coroner Simon Cooper saying he expected to hand down his findings soon, but it was unlikely to be before Easter.

Mr Cooper had earlier told Mrs Michael’s son and step-son that he understood how difficult and distressing the inquest would be for them.

Mr Michael was charged with his wife’s murder but took his own life in Risdon Prison in June 2015 before going to trial.

Detective Sergeant Bryan said a friend of the Michaels interstate contacted police after becoming concerned about a Facebook post by Mr Michael which said: “Today I have committed an evil act…”

He said Mr Michael was found unconscious at an East Devonport caravan park after overdosing on insulin and was interviewed later in hospital where he told police where his wife’s body could be found on the track to the summit of Mt Roland.

“He was very confident and concise and co-operated in every way,” Detective Sergeant Bryan said.

“He said when they were coming back (from the summit of Mt Roland) he wanted to talk about the alleged affair and was annoyed his wife started walking faster.

“He said he hit her and said: “I was like a deranged lunatic. I just lost it.”

Mr Michael then had decided he “had to get rid of myself” and set things in order for his boys.

Detective Sergeant Bryan said he had spoken to three former women who had relationships with Mr Michael who all described him as “jealous and controlling”. He had also wrongly accused them of having affairs.

He said a close friend of Mrs Michael’s said she had told her if the controlling continued she would leave.

State forensic psychologist Dr Christopher Lawrence said Mrs Michael died from blunt force head injuries and had been hit at least three and possibly as many as eight times.

Dr Lawrence said Mrs Michael’s skull had been broken, she had bruises and abrasions on her arms consistent with restraint marks and “it was like she had been in a high speed car accident.”

He told the Coroner she would not have survived even if given medical help immediately.

Counsel assisting Anna Norton said Mr Michael display “possessive, jealous and controlling habits.”

“He rang her at work so much she quit her job and he followed her to the gym,” Ms Norton said.

“Notes from Mrs Michael found at her home showed she felt trapped and had lost friends but thought he would change and come to trust her.

“In three other significant relationships he had accused the women of having affairs and had been physically violent towards them.”

Ms Norton said it was possible Mr Michael used three large rocks to hit his wife and may have hit her repeatedly while she was on the ground.

  • Lifeline 13 11 14
This story Jealous husband admits hitting his wife with a rock at Mt Roland first appeared on The Advocate.