Bill Potts is interviewed by Channel 9’s “A Current Affair” – after Susan Falls is acquitted by a jury – acting in self-defence when shooting her abusive husband – 29 June 2010.
In a confronting interview on A Current Affair, Gold Coast mother of four Susan Falls reveals how and why she shot dead her husband. It was a dramatic end to an abusive marriage but domestic violence workers warn other women are living nightmares of their own.
Brendan Hocking: A glimpse inside the tortured world of a beaten wife and mother, pushed beyond breaking point.
Susan Falls: “He forced me. He pushed me. He gave me no choice.”
Brendan Hocking: Susan Falls ended a lifetime of mental abuse by drugging her husband Rodney and shooting him in the head.
Susan Falls: “…and I just lined it up with his right temple, and I fired.”
Brendan Hocking: Arrested, charged, eventually found not guilty of murder, branded a killer who got away with it, last night it became clear whatever Susan Falls is, she’s also a victim.
Susan Falls: “He would hold me around the throat to the point I was almost passing out.”
Brendan Hocking: She didn’t leave, she says she couldn’t.
Donna Justo from Domestic Violence Prevention: “Often women have described themselves as living in a hostage situation.”
Brendan Hocking: Susan says the breaking point came when her husband forced her to make an impossible, unthinkable choice.
Susan Falls: “…that he was going to kill one of the children and I was to decide which one.”
Brendan Hocking: Instead she killed her husband then hid the body. A Supreme Court jury decided she was justified.
Bill Potts: “The case was a case of self-defence overlaid with sympathy.”
Brendan Hocking: Since the trial of Susan Falls began the law regarding battered wives in Queensland has changed. Were Mrs Falls to face a Jury again today there’s a very real chance she’d be going to prison.
Bill Potts: “…but it is highly probable that a finding of manslaughter would have been directed.”
Brendan Hocking: The court of public opinion is still out.
Susan Falls: “The gun was the only answer.”