Robin Michael, 63, died in June last year while remanded in custody at Hobart’s Risdon Prison accused of murdering his wife on Mount Roland in north-west Tasmania. The former South Australian health executive was found dead in his cell.
An inquest in Hobart is investigating three deaths in custody last year including Michael’s, as well as those of Scott Mitchell and Troy Monson.
Coroner Simon Cooper heard Michael claimed in a social media post that his wife Kerry Michael admitted while on the Mount Roland bushwalk to an affair with his colleague.
Senior Investigator Detective Sergeant Paul Bryan told the inquest Michael’s two former partners gave statements that he repeatedly accused them of cheating.
His first wife, formerly Pamela Michael, alleged to police her ex-husband was a jealous man, had threatened her with a knife and spat in her face.
She also told police her former husband had an affair with another woman towards the end of their marriage.
Detective Sergeant Bryan said Michael’s second wife, Lynne Michael, had also told police he was a jealous man and accused her of having an affair, which was untrue.
Lynne Michael alleged to police her ex-husband had been violent towards her throughout their marriage, including hitting her in the face, pulling her to the ground and banging her head on the floor.
Michael met his third wife Kerry in 2001 and married eight years later.
The inquest heard Michael had accused his wife numerous times about having an affair but she had constantly denied it.
No evidence of an affair: Detective
Detective Sergeant Paul Bryan told the inquest it was his opinion Michael had struck his wife Kerry with a rock because she had told him during the bushwalk that she was going to leave him.
He said there was no evidence of an affair and he believed Robin Michael had used it to mitigate his responsibility for the alleged murder.
The inquest heard that before his arrest, Michael admitted in a Facebook post to committing an act of “pure evil”.
The comment was posted in the early hours of February 12, 2015, the day after Kerry Michael was murdered.
He also posted: “I have committed an act of pure evil and pray it failed.”
“I was so far gone, it was insanity at its greatest.”
After posting the comments, Michael attempted to take his own life at an East Devonport caravan park, but was discovered and taken to hospital.
Fellow inmate feared for Michael’s mental health
Detective Sergeant Bryan told the inquest Michael admitted at the hospital he had repeatedly struck his wife in the head with a rock, and acknowledged he had killed her as a result of his actions.
He told the police officer that his wife walked away from him down the track after they had an argument, he caught up to her and struck her on the head with a rock he had gathered at the top of Mount Roland.
Michael wrestled his wife to the ground with anger after she asked him why he struck her, before using other rocks to strike her head and left her lying face down.
Later in court, Michael pleaded not guilty to his wife’s murder.
Convicted murderer and Risdon inmate Andrew Semmens told the inquest he was a close friend of Robin Michael in prison.
He said Michael had told him numerous times in the weeks leading up to his death he was having suicidal thoughts.
Semmens said a risk assessment was carried out on Robin Michael after alerting his psychologist on June 12 about his concerns for Michael’s welfare.
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