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In move that outraged the victim's family, David Gabriel Watson will serve just one year of the four-and-a-half-year sentence in the death of his wife of 11 days, Christina Mae Watson. She died in 2003 as the couple dived off the tropical coast of Queensland. The suspended sentence is not unusual in such crimes in Queensland.
Prosecutor Brendan Campbell told the court the manslaughter plea was accepted on the basis that the 32-year-old Watson — trained to rescue panicked divers — failed in his duty as her dive buddy by not giving her emergency oxygen.
Campbell said Watson allowed his wife to sink to the ocean floor without attempting to retrieve her, and he did not inflate her buoyancy vest or remove weights from her belt. "He virtually extinguished any chance of her survival," Campbell said.
A fellow diver told Glasgow's inquest last year he saw Watson engaged in an underwater "bear hug" with his petite wife, after which he headed to the surface while she sank to the ocean floor.