Riggs sentenced to prison over wife’s death
A WIFE slain by her husband of 17 years died "a violent and sudden death" at his hands, a judge has found.
Edmund Ian Riggs was this morning sentenced to 13 years' jail for the killing of his wife, Patricia Riggs, 34, at their Brisbane home on September 30, 2001.
Riggs, 59, was last month found guilty by a jury of the woman's manslaughter, but not guilty of her murder.
He had pleaded guilty at the start of his Supreme Court trial to interfering with a corpse, by burying her body elsewhere, after killing her in the bedroom of their Margate property.
Despite a jury finding him guilty of manslaughter, Justice Peter Flanagan today rejected the account Riggs had given of how he accidentally killed his wife 18 years ago, saying the verdict meant the jury were unable to conclude it was an intentional death, not that they believed his story.
"There were in my view, a number of difficulties in the jury accepting your version of events," he said.
"I do not however accept the version of events you gave at trial.
"It is inconsistent with what you told police... in 2001...
"This stark inconsistency is relevant when assessing the credibility of the account you gave at trial.
"Your post offence conduct and lies is inconsistent with your version of events...
"The extensive steps ... you took to distance yourself to your wife's death is out of all proposition to pushing your wife in the course of an argument... and her hitting her head."
He later said: "I determine you are to be sentenced for manslaughter on the basis Patricia Riggs died a violent and sudden death at your hands in September 2001".
Riggs was also sentenced to two years' jail after pleading guilty to four counts of perjury.
The charges came after he provided statements and affidavits in courts to 2002, 2004 and 2007 and at a Crime and Misconduct Commission hearing in 2002.
He had perjured himself by making statements that he did not know what had happened to his wife in what was described by Justice Flanagan today as a "continuing campaign" to cover up his offending.
The perjury sentence will be served concurrently and he will be eligible for parole in September 2027.