'Selfless' mother cleared of trying to murder ill daughter
Published 26/01/2010 | 05:00
A "LOVING and caring" mother walked free from court yesterday after being cleared of attempting to murder her seriously ill daughter by giving her morphine and a cocktail of drugs.
A judge said there was "common sense, decency and humanity" in the jury trial system after Bridget Kathleen Gilderdale was acquitted following less than two hours' deliberation.
Ms Gilderdale (55) smiled and was hugged by a large party of family and friends after being given a 12-month conditional discharge for assisting the suicide of her daughter Lynn.
Mr Justice David Bean said: "I do not normally comment on the verdicts of juries but in this case their decision, if I may say so, shows the common sense, decency and humanity which makes jury trials so important in a case of this kind.
"There is no dispute that you were a caring and loving mother and that you considered that you were acting in the best interests of your daughter."
Ms Gilderdale's son, Steve, said the verdict reflected the "selfless actions" of his mother after her 31-year-old daughter decided to end her life, saying her body had been left "broken" by the chronic fatigue illness ME.
The week-long trial heard Ms Gilderdale was a loving and devoted mother to her daughter, who was struck down by ME aged 14 and required round-the-clock care at their home in Stonegate, near Heathfield, East Sussex.
Lynn Gilderdale died on December 4, 2008, with only her mother present.