RODNEY Falls allegedly forced his wife to walk around a Caloundra cemetery looking for headstones belonging to children in the days after he threatened to kill one of his own.
Susan Falls broke down in Brisbane Supreme Court yesterday as she told the jury how her husband allegedly planned to kill one of their children to punish her parents for visiting.
“(He said) if they come up he will kill one of the children and I would have to choose which one,” Mrs Falls, who is on trial accused of murdering her husband, said.
“I was shocked and I was crying because I had just been beaten.
“I kept thinking he said it out of anger ... (but) he said ‘which one will you choose?’ every day.
“I started ringing mum and making excuses. I could not convince her (to stay away).
“He’d say what he hated about each one to make my mind up for me and I guess for a moment I did probably consider which one.
“(I felt) rotten. I love them more than anything.
“He took me to the cemetery. We were particularly looking for headstones of children (looking dates of birth and death).
“I couldn’t even see the writing on those headstones because I was crying so much.
“He would walk around the house near me chanting ‘tick, tock, tick, tock’.
“One day ... he grabbed a piece of paper, ripped it into four, wrote the four names and then he scrunched them up, so it’s like picking lotto names at random.
“I didn’t want to pick up a piece. He grabbed me by the throat and he slammed my head on the table.
“He unscrunched (the one I picked) and the name was there.
“He asked which date was my mother’s birthday.
"He indicated that was going to be the day it happened and that would be (my mother's) punishment for insisting on coming, thereby ruining her birthday for the rest of her life because that would be the death of her grandchild, May 29."
Mrs Falls, who weighed 41kg the day she went into prison charged with murder, said Mr Falls had beaten her every day of January in 2006 after he gave up smoking and drinking.
She said he was increasingly angry and aggressive in the months before she killed him on May 25, 2006.
Mrs Falls said not only was she hit - suffering split eyes, black eyes and bruises - but she would be poked or punched so hard in the chest she had trouble breathing.
"He would hit me with a lot more force and he was using those legs of his so much more," she said.
"He would brag to people that his thigh was wider than my waist. It was true.
"I thought he would either paralyse me, I would lose an eye or... just killed.
"The beatings were more forceful, more frequent.
"I copped it every day for January."
Mrs Falls said her eldest daughter, her best friend, begged her to leave or she would move out because she could not stand the violence anymore.
"I couldn't and I said the only way I can leave him is if I shoot him," she said.
"He would have gone after my family. If I saved my (child), I would have lost my sister or my mother."
A few days later, she asked her daughter if she knew how to get a gun.
Mrs Falls said she chose the Thursday because her husband was out drinking and the deadline on the threatened life of her child was on Monday.
"I was just desperate. I just wanted to stop everything," she said.
"I had to ask permission to go for a piss. I had to ask permission to speak to him.
"If I spoke without being given the okay, I would be hit for losing his train of thought or missing something on the TV.
"I hated and despised him. I did everything to please him.
"All that love had turned into hatred. I'd had enough.
"I believe the way I was feeling and the rate of violence, and the way it was increasing, I was at breaking point."