Wednesday 13 December 2017

Right-to-die campaigner won't face charges over suicide

Dearbhail McDonald Legal Editor

AN Irish assisted-suicide campaigner will not face prosecution over his visit to an elderly multiple sclerosis sufferer (MS) who took a fatal overdose to end her life because there is "insufficient evidence".

Tom Curran, who says he will risk up to 14 years in an Irish prison to assist his partner Marie Fleming -- also a MS sufferer -- to die at a time of her choosing, was interviewed by British police following the death of a wheelchair-bound grandmother of five. Ann Veasey (71) died in August 2011 at her nursing home in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, after she overdosed on pills she had bought online from China.

A recent inquest into the death of Mrs Veasey heard that the retired director of a pensions company and a member of Mensa, the high IQ society, had researched both her illness and methods of suicide online.

She was a resident in the Southlands Nursing Home in Harrogate since 2009 when the debilitating illness affected her mobility.

Mr Curran, the co-ordinator of the Irish branch of Exit International, insists he did not encourage Mrs Veasey to end her life, but provided support to her during his visit to the nursing home.

The former IT consultant was interviewed on a voluntary basis by police and a file was submitted to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS).

But the CPS, the equivalent of Ireland's Director of Public Prosecutions, determined there was insufficient evidence to warrant a successful prosecution.

Irish Independent

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