Main | Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Scottish Lesbian Cleared Of Assisted Suicide

In Scotland, a lesbian was found not guilty of assisted suicide after a judge ruled that her partner would have committed suicide on her own anyway.
A woman prison officer who watched her lesbian lover commit suicide was spared jail Monday after a judge ruled it was ‘an act of love.’ Patricia Mulpeter, 48, comforted her dying friend as she suffocated after wrapping sticky tape over her nose and mouth in October last year.

The two agreed she would only intervene if her 58-year-old lover Kaija Savolainen touched her hand but she remained still until she died. The couple had borrowed £10,000 from the bank and spent their £3,000 savings on traveling around the West Country together.

They had both tried to commit suicide before and failed and Kaija left a note begging Mulpeter to help her die. Kaija committed suicide on the back seat of their hired Vauxhall Astra and as soon as she died Mulpeter drove to Tavistock police station to give herself up.

Judge Mr Justice Owen imposed a 28 week sentence suspended for a year at Plymouth Crown Court after telling Mulpeter she deserved ‘compassion and not punishment.' Mulpeter, who was born in Glasgow but worked as a prison officer in London, admitted aiding and abetting suicide by giving moral support. She was originally arrested for murder but the charge was thrown out after the prosecution withdrew the case.
In his ruling the judge said: 'The encouragement you gave amounted to moral support and it was encouragement bordering on compassion. You had been together for many years and cared deeply for each other. Yours was an enduring and loving relationship and I accept you acted out of love."

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