Man buried dead wife’s body twice
A QUEENSLAND man who twice buried the body of his wife says she died after hitting her head when he pushed her during an argument.
Edmund Ian Riggs, 60, denies murdering Patricia Anne Riggs, whose skeletal remains were found buried at their family's former home near Brisbane in 2016 - 15 years after she died.
On September 30, 2001, during the last of many arguments that peppered their 17-year marriage, Riggs said Patricia laughed at him when he told her he wanted to make peace.
Riggs said his wife told him she'd found a list of escorts in a pocket of his shorts, before revealing she'd had numerous affairs over several years.
Riggs also told the court Patricia had spat at him.
"(I) pushed her away," he told his murder trial in the Brisbane Supreme Court on Thursday.
"I just didn't want her in my face, in my space. I just wanted her to get out of my face.
"She went backwards and down and the back of her head or neck or something hit the … foot of the bed."
He said Patricia started convulsing and when she stopped, she was dead.
"My brain's just exploded," Riggs said.
"I knew if I killed her I'd be going to jail for the rest of my life.
"I had four kids who just lost their mum. I didn't want them to lose me as well. I didn't want them to be orphans."
Riggs said he carried his wife's body downstairs, put it in his car and drove around.
He eventually found himself at bushland on the outskirts of Caboolture, where he buried her in a shallow grave.
He dug up the remains a few years later after seeing heavy machinery at the site and reburied them at the home at Redcliffe, north of Brisbane.
They were found wrapped in blue pool lining by a new owner who was doing concreting behind a shed.
Riggs has pleaded guilty to interfering with his wife's corpse.
While Riggs lied about his wife's death, his defence team argues what happened between the couple before she died was in dispute.
He kept up the lie by telling friends she had walked out on the family and he didn't know where she was. He also filed a missing persons report. The prosecution claims he deliberately killed her.
The trial continues.