Robin and Kerry Michael.
Robin and Kerry Michael.

Accused: ‘I was like a deranged lunatic’

A MAN accused of killing his wife while bushwalking on Tasmania's Mt Roland told police he "went nuts and completely lost it" while quizzing her about suspicions of infidelity, a Hobart inquest has heard.

South Australian health executive Robin Michael, 63, and his wife Kerry, 44, were on holiday in Tasmania when she died on February 11, 2015.

The inquest before Coroner Simon Cooper heard Mr Michael told police he wrestled his wife and hit her with a rock as they descended the mountain following lunch at the summit.

"I hit her three or four times. I suspect I just lost it," Mr Michael told police in a recorded interview at the Mersey Hospital two days after his wife's death.

The resulting head injuries were "like a high-speed car crash", state forensic pathologist Christopher Lawrence told the inquest.

Dr Lawrence, who conducted the post mortem examinatoin on Mrs Michael's body, said the head injuries were consistent with a blunt force to the head.

He said she would have been struck at least three times, but up to eight times.

Dr Lawrence said Mrs Michael suffered "extensive injuries to the front, back and side of the head, likely consistent with being struck with a blunt object such as a rock".

He said the injuries to the brain stem would have been "rapidly fatal" and he believed the woman would not have survived even if she received treatment at the scene.

Mt Roland, where the couple had been bushwalking.
Mt Roland, where the couple had been bushwalking.

Tasmania Police detective sergeant Paul Bryan told the inquest police had discovered Mr Michael unconscious in a caravan in an East Devonport caravan park the morning after his wife's death.

An ambulance took Mr Michael to the Mersey Hospital, where he was found to have taken an overdose of insulin, the inquest heard.

Later that morning police were able to ask Mr Michael about the whereabouts of his wife and he sent them to where she was later found - on a track to Mt Roland.

The next day police conducted the recorded interview with Mr Michael, during which he set out the circumstances that led to his state of mind.

He told police his marriage was "good", but he had "lingering suspicions" his wife was having an affair.

After lunch on the summit, and as they walked down, Mr Michael began airing his suspicions, which his wife had denied.

"She was getting annoyed and I was getting annoyed," he told police.

Robin Michael told police his marriage was “good” but that he had suspicions his wife Kerry was having an affair. Picture: Facebook
Robin Michael told police his marriage was “good” but that he had suspicions his wife Kerry was having an affair. Picture: Facebook

Mr Michael told police his wife was walking fast when he hit her.

"I was trying to hit her with rocks and stuff," he told police.

"I was like a deranged lunatic … I hit her three or four times."

Sgt Bryan said: "We asked him [Mr Michael] if he believed he killed her."

To which Mr Michael replied: "I am 100 per cent certain I killed her, nothing else would have done."

Sgt Bryan said police found no evidence to substantiate claims Mrs Michael was having an affair.

The inquest was adjourned.

Mr Michael took his life in his prison cell in June, 2015. He had been remanded in custody at Hobart's Risdon Prison, accused of murdering his wife.

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